Come join me Sunday, July 30th!

Come join me Sunday, July 30th!
Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore- San Diego

Friday, May 24, 2013

Yes, all those eggs should be in one basket!


 

Today I was thinking about how creative types sometimes like to hold back.  Maybe NOT put all of our eggs in one basket.  Keep something in reserve for the next book, story, song, painting, or movie.

Yes, me thinking about these thoughts was caused by a movie.  Not a bad movie mind you, just a movie that seemed to have been holding back.  I’m talking the most recent Star Trek movie.  Now, before you extremists start hunting me down, I said it was a good movie.  But, in my opinion, it wasn’t great. I don’t want to spoil things for fans who haven’t seen it yet so I’ll avoid details ;).  But I felt there were a number of times were things were dangled in front of us, then pulled back.  Where chances to go bigger, bolder, scarier, darker, were waved at then passed up for what felt like excessively long chases and fight scenes.

I think J.J. Abrams was holding out on us.

It felt as if he had ideas for another movie, say the third Star Trek, and wanted to save those ideas for it.  Maybe, maybe not- I have no idea why he did what he did. But for me the final product wasn't great.

And I know many a time  I’ve read and heard writers defend their holding back so they have something for the next book.

Don’t do it.

Take all those eggs, every last loving one, and dump them in that basket.  Great idea?  In it goes.  Juicy characters and twists?  Yup- in the little wicker thing.

We should never hold back for two main reasons: 1) we may not GET a second chance.  There may not be a second (or third, or fourth) book, movie, song, etc.  2) we’re selling ourselves and our readers short.  We’re focusing on a future reward instead of what’s in front of us.  Whatever project you are working on RIGHT now is your best project EVER.  You have to treat it that way.  Even if you’re an odd case like me who writes numerous series, whatever is going on right now is my baby.

Don’t worry about “using it all up”.  We’re creative folks, more ideas, characters, harrowing situations will come in to fill the space back up again. 

Just keep putting all of your eggs in that basket and make it the best damn basket ever.  Until the next one ;).

9 comments:

  1. Even though some of the die hard fans weren't happy with the structure of the new movies, I have to admit that I enjoyed both of them and believe they're worthy additions to the canon. By tweaking the time lines (like the Doctor, I believe that time is wibbly-wobbly rather than linear)we've opened up a whole new world of possibilities. And the since these events occur before the famous five year mission I think JJ Abrams may have a few more movies in him.

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    1. I agree, Laura, I enjoyed both. But the first one felt less restricted than the second. Me thinks Abrams has plans in that crafty head of his!

      Thanks for coming by and commenting!

      Marie- at day job, can't log into blogger

      Delete
  2. I'm so guilty of this, and it's good advice to follow. I have what I called "starter manuscripts" and imagine if I'd given them my all, it's possible they'd be published manuscripts. :)

    (btw - saw the movie and adored it, but I think hubby felt the way you did)

    Thanks for sharing!
    ~Melinda

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    1. LOL- welcome to the club, Melinda! It's hard not to want to hold something back- but you're right, what could happen if you went for broke with all of them?


      Thanks for coming by and commenting!

      Marie- at day job, can't log into blogger

      Delete
  3. Thanks for sharing. I often find myself holding back, especially with the second book in my series and have been slowly adding in a bit more as I revise. I was worried I would reveal too much before the third book, but now feel I'll still have enough to give the reader for the third book. I remember reading a series, and the author dripping in information, holding back to the point of frustration and I don't think that's the way to go. Thanks!

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    1. Excellent point, Mimi. :) I know as a reader I'm not fond of that holding back bit either. It's hard to balance what the reader needs to know now with what comes later. But I think sometimes writers doubt their ability to have more great stuff come to them and don't want to waste the greatness. I say go for it!

      Thanks for coming by and commenting!

      Marie- at day job, can't log into blogger

      Delete
  4. Hey Marie,
    You felt holding back, I felt I was seeing recycling, almost to the point of the same words and gestures. Granted, the special effects were grander. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the movie, too. I enjoy seeing the old characters in a new timeline where their pasts and relationships are not exactly what they were in the original show. That being said, I sort of felt that Abrams had happening what your blog and people here are afraid of if they give their all, they'll run out of stuff for the next installment. To me, this next installment was a rehash of previous installments. I think that is the reason you felt there was holding back. You weren't receiving much new stuff. It was more, "Here, I know you liked this, have it again." Most people don't get that kind of chance. So giving it your all is the best way to go.

    Great post, Marie,
    Sharon

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    1. I had noticed some rehashing, the space jump for one, but I could see there would have been more.

      You're right though, most of us aren't going to get a second chance if we play too safe the first time- so we have to go for broke!

      Thanks for coming by and commenting, Sharon! :)

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  5. Marie,

    The reason I hold back is that I'm afraid I'll get my characters mixed up. A year or so ago, I did that while writing two novels at once. One got published, but the third in my series, including the series, is still waiting to be finished (2/3 complete).

    My queue right now past my RWASD PALs Challenge WIP consists of two novellas and finishing two of the novels I cowrote with other stories.

    Maybe I'll give it a go, writing simultaneous stories again, but please, God, let me finish what I'm working on now.

    As to the new Star Trek, my hubby says I'm wrong about this but I think in a crucial part of the movie there was a big editing problem. To me it wasn't clear which ship was the Enterprise and which was the bad-guy ship. When Scotty was going to blow the hatch, I knew he was not on the Enterprise, but I was confused as Starfleet officers "flew" from one ship to the other. Basically the ships looked too much alike during that sequence and I wasn't sure which was which.

    Otherwise, I enjoyed the movie, if not somewhat tired of the old-timey quips. I don't think the philosophy of Star Trek is anymore innovative, except, since I saw it in 3D, the computer graphics was eye-candy.

    Marie, the whole time I sat there watching the movie, I was thinking about how much better and exciting my stories would look up there.

    Us authors live in exciting times. Anything that pops into our heads can get published. No wonder the play-it-safe movies disappoint us.

    Susan

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