Servant of four masters
When I stopped to consider all of the fiction ideas that dominate my thoughts, I realized that I am devoting a considerable amount of mental effort to four different genres of fiction: four very different types of creation.
I am currently working on a new novel, which has the working title of The Sleep of Reason. I’d say it falls in the suspense/horror genre, though there is no supernatural and there is no real crime either. Of course this one gets most of my attention.
Yet I still find my thoughts straying toward other writing ideas. I continue to make copious notes for the four Finnegan cozy mystery novels I intend to write, and I delve into the three I have written to make little adjustments here and there.
Then there is the speculative fiction novel that has me all giddy with anticipation. I’m still a long way from being ready to begin writing it, but I make notes and am doing a bit of research. The Underground Railroad is a sort of supporting theme to the story as I currently envision it, and I’m studying that bit of U.S. history to see what creative sparks it may offer.
Finally, and most recently, I’ve been making notes on a noir novel with a (I think) clever twist. My son suggested the idea, and it must have been a good one because I have continued to think about it ever since. I’ve never read anything in this genre, nor in the rather large subgenre that the twist comes from, so I have a lot of education ahead of me there too.
I don’t think this is diluting my work on The Sleep of Reason. I think I am successful at compartmentalizing all of it. And even if I weren’t, I can’t imagine not indulging my creative whims on these tangents.
I frequently read of writers who are blocked, who don’t know the next step in their story. I think I am fortunate that this has not happened to me. It looks like I’ll have plenty to write about for the next decade.