This year I was old enough to sign up for evening classes at the local vo-tech, so I went for the fiction writing class. I didn't really know what to expect, but I figured even if it didn't cover anything new, it'd still be worthwhile. Being around other writers, chances to learn new stuff . . . I was pretty excited.
The first thing the teacher/instructor had us do was describe a character. Randomly. Then we had to pick three random character names. And then write an opening scene. She stopped everyone after a certain amount of time and have us read what we'd gotten down so far, so it was sort of a "write really fast with no clue where you're going and try to get stopped mid-sentence" sort of thing.
And it's a blast.
What with the time restraints and all, I was just trying to get something down, but it's quickly evolved into something legitimate. I'm pretty excited about it -- throughout revisions, there hasn't been much raw writing, and I've missed it. This has definitely shown me that it's not a bad thing to be working on a new project while massively editing something else. It keeps the writing fresh, you know?
Anyway, now I bring you this quote from A. M. Rosenthal:
"If you don't have a sensation of apprehension when you set out to find a story and a swagger when you sit down to write it, you are in the wrong business."
Well said, Rosenthal.
Now I'm working on balancing the revising -- priority number one -- and the plotting for the new project, but either way, I'm pretty optimistic about this new project. The whole apprehension/swagger bit A. M. was talking about, I guess, plus it's still in that happy stage where everything seems simple.
So what about you? How do you feel when you start a new project -- and how long does that happy, simple stage last for you before the real work starts?