I made a mistake yesterday. I am working on an essay and I talked about it before the rough was finished.
Stephen King recommends not saying word one about your work until you've got rough in hand, and it's good advice. I can hash out characters sometimes, and sometimes very basic plot (answering a quick question about my fifth book awhile back made me realized what Sean and his lot is all about) but I can't detail plot at all. Once I talk about it, I tend to lose interest. I suspect this is why writers can be so reclusive and antisocial sometimes.
I was around a bunch of writers the other day at a book marketing workshop and there's this careful ettiquette around asking what you're working on. Like I met someone and told them I had finished a series and was trying to sell it.
"What's it about?" she asked.
"Adult action fantasy set in present day."
Nuff said. She nodded. It's the marketing "line" for my books.
"What are you working on now?"
"A fifth, unrelated novel."
She nodded. Again, 'nuff said. It's not that I'm scared that anyone will steal my ideas. I mean, more power to ya... they're not THAT great. And there's such a thing as distinctive voice. I know I can treat my characters like no one else can, and that's reassuring. It's pretty amatuer to worry all the time about getting something stolen, though of course you must set the proper mechanics of caution into place. But most writers understand that we're not being weird or paranoid. It's much more about protecting your ideas in their journey from brain to paper. Otherwise, they might not make it.
So I started this essay to sell, chatted about it with someone on IM, and hashed it all out, and now I'm bored with the whole notion.
For me writing is about the process and if the process is disrupted by talking, then it gets all fucked up.
Lesson learned. And now it's discipline time, because I think the article, which is about blogging, could sell if I'd just write it. On that note, anybody got anything on The History of Blogging to contribute? And no, I haven't Googled "blogging history" yet, sassafrass.