Lately, I've begun to notice that every time I begin a new project, I'll get elbows deep into the meat of it, and the Muse starts sending me images from story lines that just won't fit into the book I'm trying to write. So I scribble down the idea and try to return to working on the next big crime scene.
Then she starts nagging.
One image becomes two...four...eleven...and I find myself furiously scribbling down the premise for five new books in a series when I haven't even finished the first draft of Book 1. (No joke, I can even name them for you at this stage. Book 1: Bloodline, Book 2: Paranormal Set, Book 3: Bittersweet Serenity, Book 4: Phantom Firebox, Book 5: Duplicity, Book 6: Executioner on the Lam). And the Muse isn't satisfied with short paragraphs, titles, and sketches of outlines. Oh no...not this headstrong 10 year old.
It starts with a slow creep of interest in Book 2. I'll take a break from a particularly difficult scene in Book 1 and give her what she wants. (I know. Bad idea, but I just can't help myself.) I punch out four pages, revise the outline a little and return to Book 1. Then little snippets from the other four start pounding at my frontal lobe. I try to hold out, knowing I must finish Book 1 before I can really get involved in any of the others.
So the Muse breaks out the blaster cannon.
A black hole rips through the space beneath my feet, sucking out all but the tiniest drops of interest in working on Book 1. At this point, I have a choice: stagnate or give the little gremlin her way. (Yeah, no real choice there.) The minute I start exhausting my creative juice on Book 6...she gives me back the interest in Book 1.
Thus my Work in Progress becomes Works in Progress. I have no doubts we can finish them. It's the revising that I'm not looking forward to.