Letting the fizz out of the bottle (or, about my new WiP)

At the Brisbane Writers Festival a couple of years ago, I saw Anita Shreve, author of 16 novels,  speak about her books and the writing process. I’ve never read any of her work but I enjoy hearing about others’ creative processes so I knew I’d get something out of the session regardless.

I remember that when she was asked about her current project, she said that she never speaks about what she’s working on because she’s afraid of ‘letting some of the fizz out of the bottle’. She said (and I’m paraphrasing) she’s always afraid of speaking about what she’s currently writing because she feels like it’s an unopened bottle of soda, and if she spoke about it, she’d let out some of the fizz, and so if she spoke about it too much, the story would go flat. A quick Google search shows me that she uses this answer whenever she’s asked  (for example, The Washing Post interview and WOW! Women on Writing interview).

I find this logic fascinating, because my mind works quite differently. When I have a new story idea, I want to tell everyone about it, and I have to physically stop myself from blathering on to anyone who shows the slightest bit of interest. I actually gain more enthusiasm or ‘fizz’ from sharing my ideas and hearing others’ thoughts about it.

I’ve shown quite a bit of self restraint to not post about my current work-in-progress yet. What’s that? You’d like to hear about it? Oh, okay. Why didn’t you say so earlier?! It’s a young-adult time-travel romantic drama. Think Time Traveler’s Wife crossed with Back to the Future. It’s in the very embryonic stages at present. I’ve got a lot of ideas that I’m very excited about – enough for a series – but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to make them work… oops. See, there I go. Give me an inch… 😉

Back to the subject at hand, I wonder if it’s an introvert/extrovert thing? Do all introverts keep their ideas in the bottle and all extroverts share the fizz around, or is it not as cut and dried as that?

What do you think?

Are you an extrovert who manages to keep your WiP ideas to yourself? Or are you an introvert who forces yourself to brainstorm with others? Perhaps you’re like a friend of mine who chooses not to share his ideas because he’s concerned someone will steal them. Or maybe you have different reasons altogether. So do you share, or not? Why, or why not? I’m keen to hear from you.

P.S. For those keen for a Mackenzie update, here’s a video of her trying her first food. So far, she’s not a fan.

P.P.S. My work-in-progress novel shall henceforth be referred to as ‘The Fizz’, because I’m yet to come up with a title I like any better!

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9 Comments

Filed under Creativity, The Fizz, Writers, Writing

9 responses to “Letting the fizz out of the bottle (or, about my new WiP)

  1. Your book sounds like it will be a lot of fun. Make sure the male lead is as handsome as Michael J. Fox was. That will sell a million books.

  2. It depends on the book. When I have a plot-driven story, I love sharing it with my older sister and younger brothers. It’s kind of like test-driving the story to see if I can keep them interested, and it always leads to new, more exciting ideas. If it’s character-driven, I’ve found I like to keep those to myself until the book is done and I hand it off to betas. Those kind of stories feel more intense and intimate, and I don’t like to spoil them by talking about them too soon.

  3. I’m glad you shared something about your current WIP – that’s what I came over here for! Me … I tend to keep new ideas close until after I’ve worked on them for a while. Perhaps because in the early stages I’m not always sure if they’ll go anywhere, and I like to share about my work when I know it’s definitely going to happen!

    • Yes, that’s always a risk of sharing early. I’ve told a few friends about ideas that never made it beyond the initial brainstorming phase. I’m really hoping this current project isn’t one of those, because I’m so in love with it right now!

  4. A new book from Miss Jackson on the cards! Hurray!

  5. I don’t share with everyone although I will run ideas past my critique partners and test readers.

  6. I like your story idea! Anything that has elements of/like Back to the Future has got to be Full of Win. 🙂 VERY interesting theory about fizz and whether a writer is extroverted or introverted. I tend to clam up and not want to share my fizz (yep, introverted). Although I do have one CP I share rough ideas with, and she encourages me. But I just share general details. 🙂

  7. Awesome issues here. I am very happy to look your post.
    Thank you a lot and I am taking a look forward to contact you.
    Will you please drop me a e-mail?

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