Six of these, half a dozen of the other – a character conundrum

I am making every effort to write and/or edit every single day, whether it’s a work in progress or something past the first draft. It’s part of the whole, “I’m going to act like this is a professional gig” approach I’ve been instating over the last few months (to surprising success, I should add).

However, I’m having a really hard time shaking the last batch of characters for any new set. It’s almost amusing, but since it’s coming in the way of a current editing project I’m trying to do (preparing Queen of None beyond the first draft) it’s bordering on plain irritating.

It’s quite literally a fact of characters from one book not liking the characters in another. Does this sound bat-turd crazy? Yeah, I think it does. But it’s like I’m wearing a pair of tinted glasses from the last editing project, and can’t shed them as I shift gears toward another. Everything I’m reading feels awful, and I can almost hear the former character criticizing the latter character.

I don’t typically have problems like this, but then again I’ve never finished three books in the course of five months. I’ve never had this many characters running around my brain, randomly firing my synapses. Maybe that’s the problem. It’s likely I’ve hit a kind of character critical mass, and I’m unable to detangle them from one another. Or maybe it’s stress. Or maybe I’m going a little batty. It’s all quite possible.

While part of me says “just start something new entirely” the other part says, “just take a friggin’ break.” While taking a break seems like the rational thing to do, omigod–what else do I do if not write!?

Anyone have similar experiences? Suggestions?

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  1. As for what to do whilst taking a break, I would suggest reading, of course. Perhaps reading something outside your genre, something altogether different, will help you actually feel as though you are taking a break.

  2. I like to break from what I am doing by thinking about new projects – but not ones I will start any time soon. Rehashing old ideas, playing with those ones at the back of my mind. Then getting back into the current WIP can feel like a return to something you know – and you see how well you /do/ know it.

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