Writing Can Be Murder

November 12, 2008

Pet Projects — Love ’em? Hate ’em? or Both?

Filed under: Uncategorized — love2wryte @ 7:00 am

I have books that I’ve written that I know will never see the light of day. I’m okay with that. I have screenplays that have done well in contests that I’ve chosen to give up on, and I’m okay with that.

But there are a couple of pet projects I’ve been working on for quite a while that I can’t/won’t give up on — they’re driving me nuts.

The novel I’m rewriting is one of my pet projects. The story has been around for a long time. In fact, it started out as a screenplay. The script was optioned. The film was never made. I adapted (a term I’m using loosely since the two pieces barely resemble one another any more) it into a novel. After receiving an editor’s feedback it was revised. And it’s being revised again.

Another pet project is yet another screenplay. In the words of my former agent, “It’s like American Beauty… only with a plot.”  Over the past seven years I’ve entered different versions of it in six screenwriting contests. Half the time it’s gone unrecognized, but it did well the other three times. Seven years ago it was a QuarterFinalist, three years ago it was chosen to be workshopped with some recognizable talent, and just this year it was a Finalist in Bluecat. I’m now thinking about adapting it into a novel because I can’t stand the world hasn’t met with the success I believe it deserves.

So here’s my question: Do you have a pet project you can’t/won’t give up on?



  1. My pet project hasn’t had nearly as much exposure as yours have – but nevertheless. I’ve got a collection of stories, written originally as semi-fan fiction that I’d love to put out there someday. The characters are all original, but the world is someone else’s and all I need to do is make some fundamental changes and I can keep most of the plots. I love these characters and have lived with them in my head for almost two decades – whether or not I’ll ever get them cleaned up enough to appear in public remains to be seen.

    Comment by Jennifer Colgan — November 14, 2008 @ 12:23 am | Reply

  2. I don’t know whether or not this counts as a pet project, seeing as I don’t really have any ‘major’ projects to compare it to, but I’ve been working on a post-apocalyptic novel for around four years now. Between being a student, being easily distracted, and just being kinda lazy, its still nowhere near completion… But I refuse to give up. I’ve tried writing novels before, and the same thing always happened; Either I didn’t have enough of a plot and gave up, or a new idea came along which excited me so much that the old one was forgotten, until it was too far gone to salvage it. I’m determined to finish this one – I have a FULL PLOT LINE written out, I have no intruding ideas, and I still get all excited when I start talking about the story. So I am definitely going to finish it. … Someday. … Hopefully.

    Comment by Karen — November 14, 2008 @ 4:29 am | Reply

  3. Jennifer — Two decades? Wow. They must be really important to you. I hope that you DO do something with them some day.

    Comment by love2wryte — November 14, 2008 @ 7:16 am | Reply

  4. Karen — ah, that’s the magic part — still being excited about it. A friend recently told me “Great art isn’t accomplished in grand sweeping gestures, it’s done in baby steps, tiny, little baby steps”. So get stepping!

    Comment by love2wryte — November 14, 2008 @ 7:18 am | Reply

  5. It would be much easier to get stepping if it weren’t for the constant barrage of midterms and major projects ;^_^ University is no walk in the park! But I certainly intend to… I miss my characters!

    Comment by Karen — November 14, 2008 @ 9:44 am | Reply

  6. The characters were originally part of a role playing campaign my husband ran back when we were dating – some 18 years ago. We still talk about them like they’re real people – [’cause we’re just that weird] – but they had a whole history that I expanded on after the game ended and it’s all still there, some on paper, some in my head, like an old movie you never really forget.

    Comment by Jennifer Colgan — November 14, 2008 @ 4:55 pm | Reply

  7. Karen — It’s always a good sign when you miss your characters. Maybe you can get into your story over the winter break?

    Comment by love2wryte — November 16, 2008 @ 6:36 am | Reply

  8. Jennifer — Okay, now I see a book where two characters who are dating become embroiled in the plot of the fan fiction they’re working on.

    Comment by love2wryte — November 16, 2008 @ 6:37 am | Reply

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