When Your Brain is All Over the Place

I find myself kind of in a weird place at the moment, Squiders. Normally I am excellent at compartmentalizing my writing, at working on a single big project at a time (with some side smaller projects), and everything is fine and dandy and lovely and so forth.

But recently, I’ve been all over the place and I think I’m starting to go a bit mad.

As you guys know, I’ve been working on editing a YA paranormal novel. That’s actually going pretty well. I hit 25K on the edit this morning, which puts me about a third of the way done, and I think it’s more even in tone and plot flow than the original draft was. I don’t think this will be the final draft, in the end, but I do think it’s getting much better.

I’ve been working on a consistency challenge–making sure I get in at least half an hour every day on the edit–which is definitely helping.

So all’s quiet on the Western Front.

I’ve also been attempting a short story a week this month, which is going though less swimmingly, but I was admittedly a little overambitious. Probably shouldn’t be attempting a full short story outline/draft/edit in a week’s time frame while also editing/rewriting a novel, but so far I have written something every week. The first week I wrote a novel-related drabble. Last week I wrote a prompt-response short that I promised my sister for her writing blog about two months ago. This week I wrote a novel-related drabble AND finished up a short story I started in February of 2012.

The drabbles are not related to my YA paranormal novel, however. Which leads us to probably the most frustrating aspect of my sudden inability to focus like I normally do.

Do you remember earlier in the year, when I was finishing up the first draft of the third book of a high fantasy trilogy? Well, I sent that sucker out to betas, and in some cases I sent all three books out to people. And I asked everyone to have it done by October and then went off to work on my YA paranormal novel.

But the issue is that I haven’t been able to get the high fantasy trilogy out of my head since then. I’ve read over the drafts myself multiple times, and every time I get comments from someone else, I read through their comments and tend to get sucked into the draft myself. I’ve started an editing document where I’m keeping track of things I want to change, from character names to new scenes to tweaks to existing scenes. I’ve pondered what the characters did after the end of the third book, or what they did before the first book. I’ve had character arc discussions with anyone who would let me. I have a non-standard “hero” who does bad things at the beginning before he reforms, and everyone has different things they dislike about him, so I’ve been trying to figure out if and where things are too bad (but they are literally different for every single person and I am going to go insane).

Do you know how distracting it is to work on an edit when your brain is trying to edit something else? Normally I might follow my brain’s lead and switch edits, but there’s no reason to do so until I get all my comments back from my various betas. And that’s still months out.

Any advice, Squiders? About any of it?

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