Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A Day in the Life

I’m in the thick of things, living in my made-up world of murder and intrigue. Doll Book #4 is coming along just when I thought I’d never get any of it right. All kinds of unplanned problems are presenting themselves to Gretchen Birch and the Phoenix doll community’s active members, and that’s a good thing. I’m speeding around a series of turns and can finally see a straight-away ahead. I know what happens in several upcoming chapters. Finally. But there’ll be another blind curve. And another. I’d like to think, as I write my 7th mystery, that I’m a pro, but I don’t feel like one. I still worry about plot points and character development and mind blocks just like I did with book one. My biggest fear is that I will sit down someday and not be able to write a single word ever again.

Shouldn’t I have more confidence by now? Established authors tell me they experience the same feelings with every book they write.

I live one day at a time, like a recovering addict, never sure where tomorrow will lead. But on a day like Monday, when the writing worked, I’m flying high. Wonder what today will bring.



Sheila Connolly said...

Great--you mean it doesn't get better with practice? I'm creeping up on the end of my second Tucson glassblower mystery, and I still haven't decided who knew what when. Is Villain #2 really guilty, or just stupid? Got me. I hope my subconscious knows.

Deb Baker said...

Your subconscious always knows. The trick is to tap into it. I find mine by walking (for at least 30 minutes) and letting my mind wander. At the end, I have more book material.

Camille Minichino said...

Reporting in on book 12 ... sorry Sheila, it's only a little better!
As with Deb, I go through some of the same problems and insecurities with every book.
It helps to remind myself .. I've worked through this many times and come out ok, so this will be ok, too.
And Deb is right about finding a way to relax about it, and it will come.

Monica Ferris said...

You are right, Deb. Except it isn't your unconscious, it's an invisible Van Allen Belt (anyone else remember the Van Allen Belt), that surrounds the earth. It contains all the fiction ever written or to be written. Writers are born with invisible antennae, each tunned to a particular kind of fiction. The story comes in from space, through the hindbrain and out the fingers without impinging on the consciousness. That's why (this has actually happened to me) a writer will look at what s/he just typed and exclaim in surprise, "I didn't know that!"

ellen said...

I've just come off an eight-month period when my muse turned her attentions to other matters. I think she's back, but I'm not counting on it.

At times like this, it is immensely comforting to have no deadline hanging over me. Once upon a time, many years ago, I sold an article a year before I could deliver it. Bothered the living daylights out of me.

Deb Baker said...

Whatever it is - muse, subconscious, a beam from space - I hope it sticks around.

Kathryn Lilley said...

Oh. My. God. Deb, I feel your pain! The first draft of my second book, A KILLER WORKOUT, is due Nov. first, and I alternate between exhiliration and black despair. I had 2.5 years to complete the first book--this one has to be first-draft ready in ten months. Ack! The good news: my writing technique has gotten faster, stronger, better. The bad news: I still have to have the first draft completed by November first. Ack!

Camille Minichino said...

I always tell my students to relish in the luxury of being able to take your time, get it right before they get into the deadline world.

Not that I want to go back to those days!