I wrote for about five hours today. But even with all that time, I didn't get a single page completed on my work in progress, which is the 10th Odelia Grey mystery with a working title of JUNK IN THE TRUNK.
Did I have writer's block? No.
Did I nap and say I was writing. No, although a short nap was taken today.
Did I spend a lot of that time on the phone with my good friend Heide? Yes.
Did I spend most of that time on my back staring up at the ceiling. Yes.
Doesn't sound like writing to me.
But it is.
Today, I mapped out in my head the plot lines for the 10th, 11th, and 12th books in the Odelia Grey series. I considered ideas, plots, red herrings, and character direction. I tossed out some. Kept others and ran most by Heide, a voracious mystery reader, for her consideration (kind of like letting someone sample food before you serve it to guests).
What time I spent at the computer was to jot down notes and very loose outlines for each book. I also wrote the opening of book 11 and the last few paragraphs of that same book. And I started the first chapter of book 12. For my WIP I jotted down notes on plot twists and small seeds to plant to set up the upcoming books.
Why all the fuss? Because I'm contracted for twelve Odelia Grey novels and I want these last three books to be extra special and satisfying to my readers. I don't know what's in store for Odelia after book 12, but I do know what's in store for her over the course of the next three books, each of which will take the reader closer to the climax of book 12 and thus ending the story arc I started with book 1, TOO BIG TO MISS.
BTW, the working title of book 12 is TOO BIG TO DIE. It has a nice complete sound to it, doesn't it?
When my agent first sold the Odelia Grey series to Midnight Ink, they bought the first three. Then they bought three more. Before those were done, we pitched six more books for an even dozen books with a specific story arc. While I haven't written the exact books I pitched, by the time TOO BIG TO DIE is released, I will have finished the original story arc. Wow, it seems like almost yesterday when I made the commitment to complete twelve books and now I staring down the barrel of the final three.
Like I said, I don't know what's in store for Odelia after book 12 is finished and released. I have some ideas for new series and other books, but nothing sold or written. After all, I still have three more Odelia books to write before any of that happens!
Lots of good things come in dozens:
Odelia Grey books.
Whatever happens in the last three Odelia Grey books, it will be what my readers expect and deserve:
A very wild ride.