Last week I came down with “second novelitis”. While I only have a few chapters left to write of my first novel, I had flashes of ideas for a second. I’ve had these flashes for a few months now and I normally (a) email the idea to mysef or (b) write it down on the corner of one of my gazillions of notebooks and thus can’t seem to find that corner easily later. But last week (c) happened. I actually wrote an incomplete scene for my “second” novel.

My 2nd novel growing

Before I started writing my first novel, I had tons of ideas that I wrote down, and lots of snippests of dialogue and even partially written scenes. It seems that the same thing is starting to happen for book #2.

The problem is that I really want to be even more organized with my second novel. I want to have all my notes and ideas in one place and in addition to this, there is a 2nd and possibly a 3rd story idea I was thinking of writing about next. Although, I think idea #1 is clearly in the lead. In fact I should probably focus and finish book 1 so I can organize myself for the onslaught of book 2.

As a result, I have really sucked on the word count and progress on WIP #1 this week. I think its one of my worst weeks in terms of progress: 2,600 words….but I did try to figure out Triberr a bit more. I will continue to try to learn how to use it better. I approved some tweets and gave karma, I’m getting there.

Hopefully this week will be a high production week. I think #teamsprinty will help me keep on task. Like Kait pointed out only 3 more weeks of ROW80.

I’ve heard other writers talk about getting excited about new ideas for thier next book. Has this ever happened to you? How did you keep the new ideas on the backburner simmering while you finish cooking what you’re currently writing?

25 thoughts on “Second Novelitis – ROW80 check-in”

  1. I understand completely. I have so many ideas flowing through my brain. I started using the Notes app on my iPhone when I get story ideas. Good luck on the your many future novels.

  2. I usually can’t stop myself from starting the other even if I’m not done with the first. I just open a doc and start writing. It’s never a ton of things do it rarely takes me away from the first.

  3. Nicole, have you thought of using OneNote? I hear fantastic things about it and Jill Kemerer swears it is an excellent place to keep all this stuff.

    Also, we’re having our More Cowbell webinar tomorrow and I haven’t see that you have fully joined the More Cowbell tribe! I believe it will be about 8 pm your time tonight (it’s at noon California time) – I sent Gloria a tweet if you want to check my tweet stream for the deets. πŸ™‚

    1. Hmm I’ve been considering Scrivener. I’m working on a Mac. But I’ll check out OneNote. I’m sooo in the More Cobwell tribe…not so sure about the COWbell tribe though. lol.

      I double checked the time zones and 8pm my time is correct. πŸ™‚

  4. Currently I have two novel ideas in my head. And I have two main problems: 1. Which one to focus on and 2. What language to write on. [I know, silly questions, but sometimes when pieces of dialogue come in English rather than Romanian and in the second language it would sound stupid…] I cannot wait to read what you’re writing, Nicole! πŸ™‚

    1. I’m no expert in giving advice on these type of things, but maybe there is one idea that comes to you more often or that you are more excited about? Another thing you could do is a little online research to see if there is anything out there similar to one of your ideas, and perhaps one of your ideas is more original (i.e. nobody else has written something similar).

      As for the language, I have no idea there. πŸ™‚ If something is coming out naturally in one language, like English, then maybe the story is dying to be told in English? I’ve heard though that in Romanian, there are a lot of jokes and popular sayings that don’t translate into English. So that might also be something to consider. I’ll keep my eye out for your writing as well!

  5. Just get all those ideas down somewhere and out of your head. Keep a small notebook with you when you’re away from the computer. It will all come together for you. Looking forward to your first novel, though! And 2600 words is nothing to sneeze at…it’s more than you had before you wrote them. πŸ™‚

  6. When I get those new ideas, I usually just keep them in my head until I’m ready. But, lately, I’ve been very forgetful, so I’m going to start writing everything down. Well, I’ll probably TYPE everything. LOL.

    Congrats on having those new ideas percolating in your brain. That’s always a good sign.

  7. I too start framing the next novel while in the middle of the current. That’s a good thing. I put them in a file folder in my ‘writing’ file on my computer. When I finally get to them, I’m at times amazed at what I put together. I have two fiction and two non-fic I’m framing right now, as I finish my current one. You can’t stop creativity, baby!

  8. Ooo second novelitis, been there, am there and you are right – take notes, but finish the current WIP first. I started keeping small notebooks for “waiting projects” – one for each story that has potential, transcribing notes to them whenever they arrive and of course, keeping a Scrivener file for each one. It is a great sign that you are already building ideas for the next project but be sure to “tame” the idea so it doesn’t derail your current efforts.

    Have a fantastic week, Nicole πŸ™‚

  9. Haha, when I saw secondnovelitis, I was afraid it was more akin to “sophomore slump,” where one is done with the first novel and can’t come up with anything for another. Yours is the much better problem to have! I have seen the solution to this called “performing an exorcism.” I can’t remember which author coined the term, but it’s soooo applicable. What they recommended was to just take ten minutes or so and write down your idea and anything else for this book so it will leave you alone, then go back to work on the current project. I’ve faced this too, and this solution worked for me. It sounds like you did too, but the new one’s still clamoring for attention. Maybe it will take multiple exorcism sessions – but as long as you’re not working on someone else’s deadline, do what you need to! That’s where ROW80’s flexibility is great. Good luck with it!

  10. I’ve been using Scrivener, which is awesome when it comes to keeping a running tab of half-finished scenes and bitty ideas for each WIP. I have 3 that I’m juggling, though I’ve gotten much better about focusing on only one for an extended period of time. Still, sometimes it’s good to just jot down a few ideas or bits of dialogue, just to empty it out of your brain, and give yourself a potential launching pad for planning and outlining down the road.

  11. Your creative mind is a brewen, that’s job security at work πŸ˜‰
    I create word files for each new idea when it comes to mind. I write down all that my mind’s eye can see. Sometimes it is just the main conflict, sometimes it’s dialog, and sometimes it is a whole scene. Once I get the ideas down I’m usually able to let it go and get back to the current WIP.
    New ideas are fun, let yourself enjoy that creativity!! & hey 2,600 isn’t bad, you still beat me this week πŸ™‚

  12. I’ve used OneNote, regular ol’ notebooks, and have Scrivener which I’m trying to utilize better. If a scene comes to me I write it down, even if it never gets incorporated into a story, and in fact have a misc. scene file. By writing it down I capture it while freeing up the ol’ brain for the current WIP. Good luck! All the best for the upcoming week.

  13. I’ve faced this with the battle of new short story ideas versus work on my first novel. I capture the ideas via my phone (notepad feature) and using Evernote on my tablet. It makes me feel better that I haven’t lost the idea and curbs the immediate urge to start writing on the new idea. Tons of ideas is a great place to be though, Nicole! πŸ™‚

  14. Oh my goodness, I’m the Rabbit Trail Queen. I have plot ideas pop into my head while I’m writing something else quite often, and I have to fight the urge to stray and see what might be down that little rabbit trail. But my WIP is the Yellow Brick Road, and I need to stay here to get to Oz, by golly! It is cool that you already have ideas tugging at you. Great word count!

  15. Not having written a novel yet, I have little advice. I have so many ideas swimming around in my head, I can never seem to settle on one to commit to. LOL!
    It’s exciting to see the end in sight and having ideas for the next brimming over the pot! Thrilling but definitely a struggle to work through. Patience and you’ll get there.
    Perhaps not a perfect solution but…I just read Carrie Spencer’s post on Dropbox and I downloaded it on my two laptops and my phone. It syncs between machines so all my files are updated and accessible regardless where I am working from. Also, this way, I can jot notes on my blackberry and save them to the right folder to access from my laptop another time. I have a folder for each novel idea and I just add files/ideas as I go.
    Hope that helps….we are all here routing for you and here’s to a FAB week ahead!!!

  16. First, HOORAYYYYY for 2600 words! You should be proud of that. I have a whole idea process – bet you never would have guessed that. πŸ˜€ First there is what I like to call the DREAM FILE. It’s just a Word doc (well a Pages doc really) that is just a list of ideas – anything from a line to a paragraph, things I can’t wait to start and some things that are probably horrifyingly dreadful. If an idea won’t shut up, like past a paragraph, or anything with real details flying at me, I start a Scrivener file for it. In the research section, I add one document that is just Notes of any type to be organized later and one that is a Journal for when I feel like talking to myself about that project.

    I should also admit that I regularly work on two projects at once. At first, I tried to fend off the urge, but it became apparent that I work better that way. When I’m not jazzed on one, I almost always am about the other. Only two for me – everything else stays in idea mode. I also learned during Nano that I like the very beginning idea stage on paper, so I have a small notebook (journal size) in my purse which is with me pretty much all the time. I jot things there and type them into the right place later, which in itself throws you back into the idea and gets you excited about it all over again!

    Good luck with all the ideas!! See you at some point this week πŸ™‚

  17. 2600 words is great! I’ll take that any week. I so wish I could work on two projects at once, but blogging and the WIP seem to take up all my writing time. But if I do have an idea, I write it in a separate notebook than the one I’m using for the current WIP. I do have Scrivener, too, and it’s great for organizing. Good luck!

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