Walk away for a few days. It’s not my particular favorite thing to do, but it does help me remember why I’m excited about a story (or not. Both are equally important revelations).
Write anyway. Yes, it’s forcing a story, but sometimes I need to force a few sentences in order to get things flowing. It’s like towing a car in the snow. Eventually, you’ll get that thing out of the snowbank and back onto the road.
Start with a scene that you know and are excited about. Sometimes if I don’t know what happens exactly next, but I can’t wait to write about a scene that’s happening later in the book, I’ll write that scene.
Read. This is actually one of my favorite motivations. When I read something amazing, it makes me want to write something amazing.
Eat something. Really, this is my cure for just about anything.
Watch a random makeup tutorial on YouTube. This is probably not helpful at all.
Go back to my notes and write down details about the scene. Try to go back and plot out parts of the novel or the whole thing (if this has not been done).
Question whether or not this is a viable project. See first bullet.
I’ve spent the past five weeks plotting out Book #4 in the Dugan Siblings series. It’s Kieran’s story, and it’s one I want to tell. But no matter how much I tried to follow Rachel Aaron’s steps and write out characters, I just wasn’t excited about where the story was going. The conflict didn’t seem conflict-y enough, the plot seemed forced, and I found myself staring at the pitiful 3000 words I’d written, not excited about writing more.
Scarlett O’Hara is one of the most famous characters of all time – but would she have had the same impact on the world of fiction (and film) if she didn’t have her fabulous name? Author Margaret Mitchell almost called her heroine Pansy – and let’s face it, Pansy O’Hara just does NOT have the same ring to it. So why are character names so important?
I have always been big on the importance of good names. I love discussing and dissecting them, and nothing makes me happier than hearing of a beautiful baby name. (Likewise, nothing makes me more annoyed than hearing a name I don’t like).
The same goes for character names. I cannot start a story until I have the perfect name for each of my characters. Names should be memorable and true to the time period that the story is set in. I instantly can tell whether or not the author has researched name popularity by what she names her characters – it’s pretty obvious that hasn’t been done when a contemporary romance has popular names from the 1960s in it.
So what about the books you read?
Release dates are hard to pin down.
As I’ve finished the first two books (out of five) in my first series, the question I always get is, “So when are you publishing those books?”
And the answer is – I have a rough idea (this fall) but beyond that, I don’t know.
Believe me, it’s as frustrating to say that as it is to hear it. Besides juggling a full-time job and other responsibilities, I’ve discovered that it’s very hard to write one book while editing another. So hard, in fact, that I’ve given that up completely. I’m only <1000 words into Book #3, but as much as it kills me to do, I’ve set it aside so I can finish editing Book #2.
Writing is fun. Editing is not. And of course I’d rather do the fun stuff instead of the not-so-enjoyable stuff, but I assume you all want a coherent book to read, so back to editing I go!