Friday, January 11, 2008

Choices - Aarsen

I have a hard time making decisions and making choices. When I go to large department stores I feel overwhelmed by all the choices available to me. I have the same problem when I'm writing a new book, plotting a new story. I have so many decisions to make about the plot, setting, the characters, their history, their motivation and which events will show this the best that there are many times I can't make up my mind. I head down silly rabbit trails, trying to make sense of where my story is going. And then that same mind shuts down.

I was in the middle of one such mind meltdown when my agent contacted me about a writing opportunity. Guideposts was starting a new series and was looking for writers. The editors would supply me with the characters of an ongoing storyline, the setting, the basic story and I would take it from there. I wasn't sure I could do this, but as I struggled my way back from yet another side trail in my current book, I thought, what's the harm. I could see this as a challenge. And it was. Yes there were restrictions and yes I couldn't make things up as I went along. But I found I could still be creative within the boundaries laid for me. I couldn't head madly off in all directions and didn't need to. To my surprise I enjoyed it so much, I did four books for Guideposts. The first one, The Price of Fame, comes out in February and I am currently contracted for a fifth. I still do my other writing for my other publisher between these books. I still have opportunity to be creative and to try to make all those decisions and stretch my brain but I also look forward to each book I do for Guideposts. I like the safety of some decisions made for me leaving me space to make others. I like the boundaries. Between the two publishers I currently work for, I have the best of both worlds. The opportunity of choice and the opportunity of boundaries.

No comments:

Popular Posts