Friday, May 19, 2006
Making a List and Checking it Twice
No, not that list. It’s only May, although I’m certain several of us are well on our way to the “naughty” side of Santa's check sheet.
The Playfriends have a few hardcore list writers in the group – myself among them. I just love a great list and the feeling I get when I check them off. With my writing, it takes a lot longer to “check” off some things – like sell, cash royalty checks, go on autographing tour, interview with Katie Couric, win my RITA, hit NYT best sellers list…stop laughing. Anything is possible.
With my current project in final revisions, I’ve allowed my mind to wander to what’s next. I’ve strictly prohibited such thoughts previously to counteract my bad habit of writing three books at once and finishing none. After PC’s post the other day about a similar quandary, I opened my trusty file called “story ideas” and read over a few of my old ideas. I deleted some I no longer cared for, reorganized them by current lines, then started adding to the list.
First, the sequel to my current story. Researched a couple plot points, brought in some fabulous mythology and got really excited about the premise. Of course, if the first book doesn’t sell, a sequel isn’t going to help much, so I went on to another idea, and another, and another. I’m most interested in a single title book series about paranormal investigators. I have the characters all lined out, named, quirks assigned…pity selling a single title is near impossible at this point. (Not all of us can be as fabulous as Ms. Kelley.)
When I was done, I had a pretty healthy list of ideas for books. I had been in a minor panic a few weeks ago since I had no idea what would be next, but I’m feeling better now. I’ve got plenty of paranormal and romantic suspense in me, so I’m good for now. It only leaves the question of which one do I start next? None - until my current MS is sparkly and the full gets requested.
I’ve heard interviewers asking authors where their ideas come from. This exercise has proven to me that when Katie asks…I don’t have an answer. Out of the air? Out of the infinite realm of possibilities that a devious mind like mine can concoct? Thankfully, I’ve got plenty of time to come up with an answer since our interview is scheduled for...uh…well...lets just say they haven't called to confirm a time and place yet.
But let me play the Katie for all you writers out there… “where do your ideas come from?”