Novel Writing

It’s time to narrow my focus

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So, I’ve decided to choose one specific story to write and devote the rest of the year to getting it done. My next step is to narrow it down to just one. Which story do I really want to tell most? I have several manuscripts in various stages of unfinish to choose from. How to decide?

These are the stories I am currently contemplating:

  • A trashy, cheesy romance novel that is fun to write, but not exactly what I want to do with the rest of my life. It’s one of those things I pull out and work on once in a while when I feel like having fun without working too hard to write the next great American novel; the type of thing I would definitely publish under a pen name! This one floats to the top simply because I have at least 6 chapters completed already. Plus, if I can manage to sell it to Harlequin or a similar publisher right away, I think the monetary rewards would be well worth the time. But again, do I want to push myself into that genre?
  • A quasi-memoir about a woman who is in the process of getting out of an abusive marriage: I have quite a bit of material for this one as well, but it’s pretty depressing and I’m just too happy with my life right now to want to spend the next few months dwelling on the past.
  • A very sketchy science fiction novel that has been brewing for several years. I have almost nothing written aside from some very sketchy character sketches (it’s all very sketchy, you see.) But, this could be a fun challenge. And, it might be a good idea to start from scratch, or almost from scratch.
  • A novel about a woman who just got out of an abusive relationship and then finds out her ex won the lottery. I at least have a solid outline written for this one.
The question is, do I want easy or do I want good? Do I want to choose something I can finish fairly easily just to give myself that feeling of accomplishment that will hopefully push me on to complete the next project? Or do I want to choose something I can be truly proud of even if I don’t end up being able to sell it? What do you think?
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