Which skills am I referring to with this title - my writing skills, my decision making skills, or a little bit of both? Probably both. Both is almost always an accurate answer.
So I finally got back to Sonata for Springtime, which I started over a year ago, and then life got in the way. (Ugh.) I finished up the stupid transitional chapter that had been plaguing me for most of that year (ugh again), and one would think that now I'm on to more exciting things, the words would be flowing freely. Ehhh. I'll get there, I just need to get into some better writing habits.
Following the flurry of the last edits and subsequent release of Fire Beyond the Frost, and then cleaning up some short stories that still need a home, I did think long and hard about whether to shelve this one temporarily. Part of it is a confidence issue - do I really love the plot and characters as much as I once did? Can this work be as good as I want it to be? Do I think readers can/will love it as much as I do?
Then as all writers know, there's always the allure of shiny new ideas lurking around every corner. Starting a new project is always exhilarating...until you realize you actually have to finish something every now and then. I'll admit it, I was thisclose to starting something new, and I even had another idea from my list all picked out and ready to go. FBtF was heavy on the sci-fi setting, and I had the urge to create a similar fictional world. The plot and characters would have been a bit more edgy and fast-paced, and my projected word count was lower. Sure, I didn't have every single plot point outlined perfectly, but that can always be figured out as you go along, right?
Ultimately, what it came down to is I haven't quite figured out the emotional core of that other idea. Not every character has to have some deep, dramatic history, and there's nothing wrong with a light, fun novella, but there's still a certain spark missing in my head for these characters. I haven't figured out what motivates them or all the facets of their personalities, and I don't want to wind up relying on tropes or cliches. Aside from that, I'm thinking I might need to rework some of the initial setup for the plot, so it's going on the backburner for now, and SfS has emerged victorious. Believe me, there's plenty of well-planned characterization and all sorts of emotions going on there. I just need to actually WRITE it all down.