Today my guest is Joëlle Anthony, who continues this year's blog series on the topic of fear, with hope for those of us whose story ideas develop over a long period of time:
My greatest fear in
regard to writing is that I’ll never have another book-worthy idea
again. It seems to me that every other writer has more ideas than they
can possibly use in their entire lifetime, but I am lucky to get one
idea a year. Really, really lucky.
Also, I can be very, very slow to develop an idea once I have it. The premise for Restoring Harmony
came rather quickly, and was inspired by an article I read, but that
was something of a fluke. Also, it went through years of revision and
really didn’t resemble the original draft all that much. And that was
before it landed me an agent or sold to Penguin. The Right & the Real
was partially based on an idea I carried around for…wait for it…twenty
years. Yes, twenty years before I knew what the story was and how to
The Right & the Real:
Kicked out of her home for refusing to join a cult with her father,
seventeen-year-old Jamie must find a way to survive on her own.
just finished writing a MG novel that I’ve been working on, off and on,
for at least fifteen years. My third YA came to me in that lovely state
between sleeping and waking, and only took nine months to write from
concept to sending it off to my agent, but I’d been playing with other
ideas that didn’t pan out for books for more than a year before I got
that one. That’s right, a year of false starts, synopses that made my
agent cringe, and tossed pages. If that doesn’t stress a writer out, I’m
not sure what would.
The new book I started working on this week
has my shortest lead-time ever, though, so I’m hopeful this means
things are changing for me. It’s only four months or so since I came up
with the premise. I’m actually a very fast writer. I can write whole
chapters in an hour, sometimes ones that actually are quite good. But I
have to think about my idea for ages, sometimes years, occasionally
decades, before I can write the book. So maybe it’s not so bad that I
don’t have too many ideas, what with all the thinking I have to do
before I can write anything.
Joëlle Anthony is a Canadian-American writer living in BC, who teaches writing workshops and does acting gigs in between book ideas.