The Young Love of a New Story

4448642564_be19f8f310This might be a short post for me. Thing is, I’ve started a new book, but I’m not ready to talk about it just yet.

It’s not that I’m superstitious, or that I don’t want anyone to steal my idea (I’ve never been the paranoid type—an idea is just a spark, and no two people write the same story in the same way).

It’s just that I have a story, but I don’t know what it will become yet. I’m at that initial stage, just thirty pages in, when it excites me and intrigues me and enchants me as it slowly reveals pieces of itself on the page. And it’s scary, too: who knows if things will work out or not. All I know is I have to give into it to find out, or I’ll regret holding back.

It’s a young love. One day, I’ll want to share it with the world, but for now, it’s just me and this story, seeing what happens and high on the possibilities.

Have you ever not wanted to talk about a new work?

Photo by: Allen Sky

Author: Natalia Sylvester

Natalia Sylvester is the author of the novel CHASING THE SUN (Lake Union/New Harvest, June 2014), about a frail marriage tested to the extreme by the wife's kidnapping in Lima, Peru. A former magazine editor, she now works as a freelance writer in Texas. Visit her online at

19 Replies to “The Young Love of a New Story”

  1. I’m like this all the time, Natalia, so I completely understand. I think it is exactly like new love, that you want to keep all to yourself because it’s so wonderful and new and such a thrill. So excited for you!!

  2. It’s funny., but I’ve changed in that regard–a little at least. I used to not talk about my stories at all during the first draft. Now, I do, but only during development when I brainstorm with writer friends. Slowly slowly I’m learning not to be such a pantster. But, once I actually start writing I need to be alone with the story for a long while before starting the critique process.

    1. This is actually the first time I’ve felt the need to keep a story to myself. For my last two books, I talked about them all the time; I think it helped keep me accountable and made them feel real. And I’m sure I’ll get to that stage with this one…eventually.

    1. Good point, Mary! Sometimes my ideas start out as kind of vague, and it’s through the writing that they become more defined.

  3. I understand. I actually thought twice about talking so specifically about my own project yesterday, because I’m not done. What if it craps out in the next ten pages? Thirty pages is really new. You’re completely right to protect it this early.

  4. I’m finding that with my new book. I brainstormed a few ideas with one critique partner but I can’t release it into the critiqueosphere just yet.

    So looking forward to reading Chasing the Sun!! 🙂

    1. Thanks, Orly!

      And I love that you brought up critique partners. For all my talk about not talking about it, I actually have shared these first 30 pages with my writer’s group; they’re my most trusted readers and sharing it with them doesn’t feel like it’d be “putting it out there” all that much. So maybe I should edit that to say, it’s just me, this story, and my writer’s group.

  5. I had an idea once, it was the greatest idea ever, and I guarded it jealously, afraid somebody else would write it before I did.

    I have no idea what it was, and I’m pretty certain I never wrote it. Oh, well. As you say, nobody else would have written it the way I would have anyway. But I never did write it.

    What I’ve learned, by trial and error, is never to talk about what I’m going to do. When I post a part of a story, I don’t say when I’m going to post the next one. But that’s about the only thing I won’t talk about. My process is pretty transparent at this point.

    1. I guess the trick is to write it, even if we don’t talk about it. Because one great thing about talking about it is the accountability it gives us. People who really like an idea will ask you later how the writing’s going, etc…though that can be a double-edged sword 😉

  6. Natalia, I’m very excited to see what your next book idea is! I’m wondering…does it have to do with Peru or Miami, or does it stray from both of those regions? And I love the title of this post, because a new book, a new idea IS a new love, absolutely!

    1. You know, this one actually isn’t set in Peru or Miami, which is really exciting for me because the last two books I wrote were tied to those places, and many of my previous short stories, exercises, even ideas, usually went back there.

      But in a way, it still deals with similar cultural issues, and new issues that I’ve been wanting to explore. (And I will say this: there’s a hint of magical realism 😉

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