So I've carried this idea in my head for almost a year now.
It started as just a germ of something, inspired by a big news story. After that FLDS compound in Texas was raided last April, I decided I wanted to write something involving a fundamentalist religious cult of some kind. That was it. That was all I had. The idea of someone being stuck in one, with no way out, and being fundamentally (hehe) different from her fellow members and unable to reconcile her life with those of her peers really attracted me.
Keep in mind that I normally, at least in my long fiction, write about witches and reapers and kids discovering their magical powers and such. So you wouldn't think that "fundamentalist religious cult" would be right up my alley.
I let the idea just sit in my head for a month or so, and then one night, I brainstormed on it. Just opened my notebook and started writing down ideas. And everything just came out, came up, came together. That germ of an idea merged with all the germs in my brain, the ones that I'm normally interested in. I have no idea how or why this happens. It's like my brain requires ink and paper to make things concrete.
The idea has continued to simmer since then. I made some false starts on the beginning and did some reading and research to put everything together, but then I got a job and had to focus on one book. Grim Light was that book.
And now GL is almost done. After some discussions with beta readers (and I'm sure there are more to come), I figured out what needs to change, what I need to work on. And I'm determined to get that work done...because I want this book off my plate. I want it to be done and out there and ready to be seen. Mostly because I'm proud of it, and I want to send it out in the world to have its chance.
But also because there's a tasty plate full of scrumptious morsels over there, and this one in front of me got cold long ago. And some of those scrumptious morsels got rearranged into a really solid meal the other day, as I was driving, and now I feel really ready. I can do this. I itch to do this. I want to get sucked into a plot, a character's mind, a story in my mind that has to travel to the page. I want that nervous, all-consuming feeling that I have to be writing every second or it'll all float away.
But there's GL, sitting there, whimpering to be finished. For good. I've been such a good girl so far, staying dedicated to one project...
So what am I going to do today?
You totally think I'm going to just work on GL, because I'm a good girl, and because I'm so ethical with my writing, and because I'm practical like that, don't you?
Hehe. I'll show you.
I'm going to do...both.
If you don't feel that you are possibly on the edge of humiliating yourself, of losing control of the whole thing, then possibly what you are doing isn't very vital. If you don't feel like you are writing somewhat over your head, why do it? If you don't have some doubt of your authority to tell this story, then you are not trying to tell enough. --John Irving