I had a great weekend at Mythcon, and now am my usual post-con quivering mass of jelly, only more so than usual. There were still some academic presentations this morning, and I scheduled my physical therapy around that in case I decided to go, but I just couldn't bring myself to head out again. This conference had a mix of panels from the writing perspective (where I was a presenter) and academic paper presentations. It seemed to be a mix of fans, writers/aspiring writers, hobbyists (people into the subject matter as a personal interest) and academics. Tim Powers was the author guest of honor, and he was absolutely delightful. He was on all the same panels with me, and we got into some great discussions.
On Sunday morning I went to some of the academic presentations, and there was one that really blew my mind because it was like this lightbulb went off, and I realized what the book I've been working on is really supposed to be about. The foundations are there, but I haven't really developed those elements, and doing so will turn everything on its axis. It was this "Oooooh!!!! Damn!" reaction because I had thought I was almost done, but now I realize I've got a lot more work to do, and yet doing this work could make this book something special.
On the basis of the Big Revelation, I have made an executive decision to backburner that book for a while. Looking at it in a whole new way will require looking at it with fresh eyes, and I can't do that when it's still so new to me after doing an intensive revision draft. I need to set it aside, and I've got some reading and thinking to do. To be totally honest with myself, I'm not sure how well this book would go over in the current market. It doesn't fit any particular hot niche, and while at the moment I think it's a pretty good genre book, I'm not sure it's good enough to stand on its own without fitting into a particular niche. I haven't seen anything else on the market that's remotely like it in the combination of subject matter and tone, and that generally means you're looking at an uphill battle. The book then needs to be truly extraordinary, and I don't think it is yet, but with this new perspective it has the potential to be (if I pull it off).
Meanwhile, the next book I want to tackle and that I'm already researching would fit into a currently very hot niche, something editors are saying they're looking for and not quite getting what they want. I could probably sell it on a proposal, if I do a good one. When something is really hot and you have a project that fits a rising trend, it's a good idea to jump on it (notice, I'm not saying to chase the trend and create purely to follow the trend) so you get in on the upswing before the market gets saturated. So instead of spending another couple of months working on this other book, and then doing the couple of months of research and development to get this new idea going, I'm going to get this proposal together now, and then maybe I can take another look at the previous book and be ready to fix it.
I'm considering the next couple of weeks to be "corporate retreat" time. I need a mental break, so I may spend a little less time working or give myself entire days off. Otherwise, I'll spend time reading books related to the next project, doing research, watching movies that inspire me in some way, doing some brainstorming, etc.
I must have been pretty excited about all this because I barely slept last night. When I was semi-conscious, I was thinking about the next book, and when I slept, I had weird dreams about the previous one.
I may shake up my blog posting schedule because part of my creative corporate retreat is to try to get out of some ruts or habits. I start my day with my Internet time, and what I may do is report at the end of the day on any adventures I've had.