Project 2016 remains out on submission (so far there have been 3 rejections, and I'm waiting to hear from another 5 that are currently out, and I have a list of about 20 more that I'm looking to send submissions out to).
This puts me in a strange place as far as working. I need to keep up my daily writing as much as possible. I've got a couple of other ideas that are roughly outlined. Reasonably, I could start on either of these new projects. Starting a new project would solve my "what should I work on" problem.
But there's a problem: I'm not ready to leave project 2016 yet.
As I think I've said before, project 2016 is very dear to me. I've been writing some version or another of this story since I was seventeen. I'm partial to everything I write, but project 2016 is special. It feels more complete than anything I've worked on--a benefit of having had the world and its characters rolling around in my head for ten plus years, I guess.
The manuscript as it is is about as good as I can make it. There's not really a lot left for me to revise or to edit. There is, at this point, nothing left for me to do on the manuscript.
I'm just not ready to leave the world yet.
The characters in project 2016, even the bit characters, are some of my favorite creations. I know each one's story backwards and forwards. I understand their relationships and their quirks. I have an idea of where they were before the story started and where they'll end up after the story's end. I know the avenues that didn't get explored in the story. There's so much more information, so many more scenarios that I could explore. And I want to play around with them.
Project 2016 was never supposed to be a series. I had one story that I wanted to tell, and the manuscript I wrote tells it. I was supposed to be done.
A couple of my early readers suggested that they'd like to see more with these characters and in this world--maybe pieces centered on some of the other characters or that lay out how the characters met or how the world ended up like it did.
I know these stories. I know how the situations arose. I know the history that the characters have with each other. There's a character that's in maybe two chapters of the manuscript whose whole life story I could recite. I hadn't thought about writing more in this world.
I haven't decided what my next project will be. As much as I love project 2016's worlds and characters, there are still other stories that I want to tell. I don't want my entire writing career to be spent in one story--even if I love that one story. But I'm also pretty sure that I'm not ready to walk away from the world of project 2016.
Maybe I'll spend a few days outlining--see which project tugs at me the most.
Too many ideas and too much enthusiasm for a story are good problems to have. But they're still problems--and I've got to figure out what to do if I want to keep on writing.