22 July 2009

What Authors Do In Between Books

Two weeks ago I finished what I affectionately called the wip-from-hell. It wasn't that it was a badly written story, it was more like pulling teeth to get the story out of my head and onto paper in a coherent way. Many times I found myself bashing my head against the desk in frustration. But when it all came together, I must say it came together beautifully.

Since it took half the summer to finish the last fifty pages (see what I mean? It was the wip-from-hell!) I promised myself that I would take the rest of the summer off before hopping back into another story. After all, my poor kids hadn't been anywhere or done anything fun and exciting. I owed it to them.

Except, as soon as I typed The End, my mind started whirling with possibilities for the next book. Mentally I made lists of books I needed to read for research. I started thinking about my characters, their quirks, their motivations, their conflicts. How could I thrust them together then tear them apart? How could I torture them?

And what about that other story? The one that's written but needs some major/minor overhauling? What can I do to make it better?

Oh, oh and the pirate story? The one that's so close to my heart but needs some tweaking to make it more believable? I think I've figured it out. Maybe.

But wait. I'm supposed to be not writing. I'm supposed to be taking it easy, reading all those books in my TBR pile, cleaning out drawers, cooking the fabulous meals I didn't have the energy for when I was in the throes of the final pages of the last book.

Except, what if I changed my hero's motivation just a little? Oh, how that will make the story more rich, more real...

Sharon Cullen
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