Choosing a new WIP (or Work in Progress)

Windfalls and mushrooms

Windfalls and mushrooms

I’ve just sent my anthology of four short erotic romance stories for a final edit, to sort out punctuation and other errors, and to try and make it as good as I can prior to launching it on Amazon. (In case you’re thinking of looking out for it, it’ll be published under a different name, I’ll let you know what it is at the end of the post.).

Anyway, to get back to the point, since that project is now nearly complete I am looking for another one. I have several in mind, some quite well thought out, some just tiny kernels of half formed ideas.

Doing chores helps me think, so I went outside to collect apples (mostly new windfalls that came down in the rain we had yesterday)  and think about my WIP. This reminded me of picking a pomegranate off the tree just last week in Greece.

Then it struck me that, like fruit, a story idea has to be at the right point exactly to be capable of maturing into a decent read.

This was the only decent pomegranate left on the tree after the neighbours stripped it. We were too late although with a lot of jumping we managed to reach this last one.

This was the only decent pomegranate left on the tree after the neighbours stripped it. We were too late although with a lot of jumping we managed to reach this last one.

Pretty much like an apple or a pomegranate really. Getting to them in time is crucial. They need to be just ripe; ripe enough to drop into your hand but not so ripe that they drop to the floor before you get there. Once they hit the floor they bruise and rot sets in very quickly or creatures nibble on them. They don’t seem to last as long as those picked off the tree and they seem to be just past the point where they are at their best.

Like fruit, the new project idea I pick has to be  fresh, ripe, and capable of going the distance. For best results it has to go from ‘tree’ to either mouth or pot.

There’s something very satisfying about collecting fruit and then eating it just as there is in selecting a new WIP and then getting on with it. In the end, whichever WIP I decide to follow through with has to fill me with enthusiasm and curiosity and make me, the writer (or the cook) keen to reach the final product.

So for the next couple of days I’ll be gently twisting each potential WIP idea to see if it drops off into my palm,  I’ll be deciding if it looks as if it might ripen too far if I leave it on the tree which would make it a priority to deal with. I’ll be tentatively checking it for mileage with lots of ‘what if’ questions and checking out the characters to see if they can develop.

I love this point. Whether I’m looking at the apples and deciding what delicious dish they’re going to become or whether I’m sifting through all the ideas in my mind, and deciding which one is going to be my next romance – it is one of the parts of writing that for me is full of potential and  joy.

Here they are, glowing in the sunlight just waiting to fall into my hand and be turned into pie. Yum.

Here they are, glowing in the sunlight just waiting to fall into my hand and be turned into pie. Yum.

Btw- the other name I mentioned above? Queenie Black.

Thanks for reading this far. 🙂

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