I hate it when idea insecurity strikes.
I'm just about finished with a thorough outline of my new idea. Sure, there's a few subplot kinks to work out, one of the antagonists is a little foggy in my mind, and the climax gets somewhat gnarly (meaning I'm not quite sure how it all plays out). But I've found those details usually sort themselves out in the writing, which I WAS about to start.
Then last week, I was innocently scrolling through Twitter, and saw BookPage's review of an upcoming young adult novel: A Wounded Name by Dot Hutchison.
"Set among the... prestigious boarding school Elsinore Academy, A Wounded Name opens
after the sudden death of the school’s headmaster. Ophelia, a
sophomore, knows that her father Polonius, the Dean of Curriculum, wants
her to take her pills to keep her wild visions at bay, but other
temptations beckon. The former headmaster’s son Dane, a senior, has the
potential to become more than a friend. Dane’s mother quickly remarries
to keep her position as chief hostess, the only role she’s ever known.
Fellow senior Horatio balances studies with his devotion to his grieving
"A reader familiar with Hamlet will
appreciate the way in which details from the play are translated into a
boarding school setting...but what truly sets this
retelling apart are the faerie creatures that only Ophelia can see and
hear...they complement the story so naturally
that readers might suspect that they were always there, just never
mentioned. And although Ophelia still seeks final sanctuary in the lake,
Hutchison undermines our assumptions about what awaits her under the
water’s surface . . . and what might have driven her there. This is a
highly recommended retelling by an author to watch."
I INSTANTLY added A Wounded Name to my LibraryThing list. What a COOL premise. What an Anne premise! So literary, mysterious, and magical!
My second thought? Why isn't MY new book that cool?
Sure, as the day went on, I remembered all the things I like about my new idea: it's a lot of fun, it's funny, the main character is perhaps the most likable I've ever written, I'm trying something new for me... But is it cool? And of course, more to the point, I'm getting old over here. Is it publishable? Is it the kind of idea that forces agents and editors to sit up and take notice?
I'm not sure. I don't have a good eye for those sorts of things when it comes to my own work. I wonder if I can get some of my crit partners to be painfully honest with me...
Anyone else suffer from the occasional idea insecurity? Do you plow through or go back to the drawing board?
By the way, on a TOTALLY different note, welcome back! I spent my summer vacation at my parents' cottage in Northern Michigan, reconnecting with family, some whom I haven't seen in years, and who haven't been all together in AGES. And I welcomed my brand new, absolutely perfect nephew into the world, so I have to share!