Friday, September 23, 2016

Take A Number

I'm always getting new book ideas. I mean ALL THE TIME. I not complaining. As any writer will tell you, it's a great problem to have. The sticky part comes when a new book idea wants to muscle in on my writing schedule, bumping aside books that have deadlines. Then there's a war for my precious writing time.

What's a writer to do?

Recently a new book idea just wouldn't let me go. It had me by the gray matter, digging in its claws with the tenacity of a cat worried about getting a bath. This new book is a very cool idea and a departure from my other books. It's a thriller and I'm not even sure yet if it will birth a series or be a stand alone.  It will also require a lot of research, which right now I don't have the time to do since I'm working on two other books.  Either way, I finally gave into its demands, sat down at the computer, and hammered out the first chapter.

Oh, did I say that it was around midnight when this happened?

I finished the chapter around 1:30 in the morning. Thankful it was a Friday night and I didn't have to go into the office the next day. I crawled into bed happy with the results: I had the manuscript template in place, the title page, Chapter 1 on the page, and a full first chapter drafted. The next morning I looked it over and, surprisingly, it was a very good chapter!

That doesn't mean this book will take priority. It won't. As mentioned, I'm working on two other books which have to be done sooner than later. One is book 12 in the Odelia Grey series and the last book I have under a publisher's contract. The other is the 3rd Winnie Wilde novella. The deadline for that book's release is the end of February. Even though it will be self-published, it still has a deadline.

After those books are done, I'll be turning my attention to Winnie #4 and finishing up a novel I started years ago called Finding Zelda, which is an expansion of my Holidays From Hell short story series. And after that will come Winnie #5 and #6. Sometime after that will be another Odelia and another Granny Apples, with Betrayed By Blood, the 3rd book in my vampire series, somewhere in the mix.

The new book I started prepping this week will just have to wait its turn. Something tells me I won't get back to it until after I'm in retirement, but you never know. And here's the thing, it's already started. It already has a spot in my heart and in the file cabinet in my brain where I keep book ideas. There are a lot of books in my mental cabinet and a lot of books on my computer that have a chapter or two complete, along with some notes. They are queued up waiting their turn, but when I do get back to them, I won't be starting with a blank page. I do the same with short story ideas.

To all you budding and frustrated writers: When you get a new book idea, start the book, at least a paragraph or two. Don't put it off, saying you'll do it later when you have more time. Nothing is as daunting as staring at a blank page and feeling nothing. It's also time consuming. When you do finally sit down to work on the new book, a paragraph or page, even if it's crap, will at least give you a push toward the good stuff to follow.


Doug Pearson said...

I'm glad to hear there will be another vampire book.


Pearl R. Meaker said...

I need to remember this. I usually tuck the idea in my brain somewhere - and then it gets forgotten.