Monday, July 20, 2009

The Process

I am back from the RWA conference, pumped, and ready to work. I'm working on revisions and having a great time revisiting THE WISH LIST to get it ready for you to read. There's something about attending a writers' conference that rejuvenates and restores the writer's soul, not to mention all the great things you learn (about yourself and the craft) and all the great books you bring home. Of course, it also drains your energy, so sleep is good for a couple of days.

While I was gone, I received a question (Thanks, Eva):

How do you chose which story to write and stick with when there are so many beginnings in your head?

The answer isn't as straightforward as you might think. I personally like to work on one thing at a time until it is finished. Ideas are always whirling around in my head--the next book, characters that need a book, scenes from books I didn't even know I was going to write--but I work on one thing at a time. Part of being a professional (which by the way does not mean that you earn your living at writing) is completing manuscripts. Having first chapters, half finished novels, or outlines doesn't mean much if you actually want to get published. You must have a finished product at least once (more would be preferable).

But once that finished product is done, then what? If you have a contract to complete, it's the next book of that contract. I still have the third book of my trilogy to write; when the revisions for WISH LIST are finished, I'll be finishing the rough draft of SPELLBOUND, and when that is done, I'll get started on TOIL AND TROUBLE. The only reason I've interrupted my writing of SPELLBOUND is because revisions come first.

If you have the luxury of making your own choice, you can choose anything. I go with whatever (whoever--those characters can be obnoxious) is yelling the loudest. But I do stick with it until it is done.
Once you are published, you can start selling on porposal. For Romance, that's usually an idea, three chapters and a synopsis. One of the hardest things I've done was learn to let go of a project just after starting it, after letting it gel into a story, and getting to know the characters. They are still in my head, yelling louder than any ideas, but they have to wait until I sell them.

So once again, my answer is less than definitive. I have to add only one more thing: You have to do what is right for you. What works for me isn't what's right for you. You have to discover for yourself your own method. There is no one answer. How's that for indefinite?


Books I'm reading now:
To Good to be True by Kristan Higgins
Witches Incorporated by KE Mills
The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

Friday, July 3, 2009

I got nothing

I have no thoughts this time. Absolutely nothing is coming into mind as I try to blog. No wisdom, no wit, no complaints (well, I have complaints, but I'm sure you don't want to hear me whine about my family--don't get me wrong, they're good people, but sometimes, ARGH, you just have to put up with them, because you won't change them and they won't do things the way you want them to do things. How hard is it to learn where everything goes in the kitchen. And then the pettiness beast rises up in me and I'm not willing to help as they need stupid things. Wait, didn't I say I wasn't going to complain?), no ideas. I am working hard on book two (SPELLBOUND is the tentative title) of the new series and it's going well, not as fast as I'd like (see rant in parenthesis) but I'll be done with the rough draft by the end of July. Then I can meet the characters in book three (TOIL AND TROUBLE).

So I am here simple to wish you all a happy Fourth of July, and I'm asking that you think about what it really means to be patriotic.

Books, I'm reading now:
Careless in Red by Elizabeth George
Atlantis Unleashed by Alyssa Day