Well, okay, not at the disco. (That’s a group, right?) It’s panic at the computer.
Here’s where I start to hyperventilate as a new romance writer: I really thought I’d have my next book at least half done by now.
I thought I’d start it immediately after the first book went on submission. I thought I’d dive right in, keep my mind on something other than waiting and Prom dates, and have a “fast first draft” done in, like, three months. Which would, ah, bring us to May.
And now it’s June. (Egads!)
And I’m nowhere even close.
Part of my dilemma was that I wasn’t sure what to write about. I had a few ideas floating around, and one clear character I wanted to start with, and a setting I really wanted, but I didn’t have a nice big “high concept” idea.
I wrote a couple of blurbs, a couple of synopses, and even one first chapter for a few different directions. I showed each one to a couple of writing friends, then my agent, to see what she thought. (One of the most awesome things about having an agent is that you can get that kind of feedback before spending a whole year or more on a book that won’t sell.) She gave some great tips on what “New York” likes (code for the Big Six publishers, I guess), what they probably won’t read, what they won’t buy, what they won’t even try to sell, and I kept trying to spin my ideas in different directions.
Finally I said a phrase that she kind of “hmmm’d” at in her most-approvally tone. (The same “hmmm” tone she gave me when I pitched the last book to her last year), and I was off and running. That was all I needed. Just a nugget. Of an idea. Just … anything, man. It was already April!
So I took the nugget of the idea to my new brainstorming group that I just formed with a few of the Firebirds, and they helped me toss some ideas around. Ways to heighten the conflict, ways to make this character come to life, things that might go wrong, etc.
And now I have a start!
I’ll play with it a little more and then try to write a blurb to share. And I’ll need some more beta readers! But overall, I’m really excited about this new story.
I don’t think my family and friends were sensing how panicked I really was, but all is well now. … I’m breathing into my paper bag and things are starting to focus again.
Onward. … 🙂