Shiny new idea syndrome

Other writers talk about shiny new idea syndrome. It’s not something I’ve suffered from before. I find starting new things harder than continuing with the familiar.

But, yesterday, I came across a problem in my novel. Nothing terminal. However, I struggled to feel enthusiastic about sorting it out and wondered how many more months it would be before I had something to send my editor. I thought how nice it would be to write something different, something that took weeks, not months or years to complete.

And then I had an idea for a short story.

The heroine is one of my favourite side characters in the trilogy. This is probably because she doesn’t like putting anyone to trouble, including me. She replaced a pleasant but dull male Scottish senior lecturer, strolling onto the page, with her laid-back take on things. A few hours later, she was pretty much as she is now.

I’m excited. I think I can see how to do it already.

Shiny New Idea Syndrome. As I say, it’s a thing among novelists. People don’t want to deal with their current writing problems, so they give themselves more work by starting something new.

I intend to exercise some self-restraint and wait at least until the half-term break to get the tale down. Hopefully, by that time, I’ll have thought everything through so the words will just drop onto the screen. If not, I may feel the need to start something else.

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