I’ve decided to write two series. The Jazzi Zanders books are cozy mysteries. The Muddy River books are supernatural/urban fantasy type mysteries. I think I’d burn out writing just one type of genre over and over again. I even have to switch up the types of books I read. If I read cozies back to back to back, pretty soon I can practically chart the rhythm of the stories, etc. So I like to jump around from one type of book to another.
Accordingly, if I can make it work–and it always sounds better in theory than in actuality–I want to take turns with my books. I’ll write a Muddy River, then a Jazzi, then a Muddy River, etc. AND if all goes well–which it never does because life happens–I’ll still be able to meet Kensington’s deadlines. The good news? I’m self-publishing Muddy River, so if I screw up, I’M the one who determines when my next book has to come out. And I can give myself wiggle room. Hopefully.
I just turned in Jazzi 4, and I don’t have to turn in the outline for book 5 until July 15th. Even better, I don’t have to turn in the manuscript until Nov. 4. So, I have time to squeeze in Muddy River 3 IF I don’t dawdle and I plant my fanny in chair and make myself write the words. Even though it’s summer. And even though I like to play in my flower beds and take the dog for walks and…well, I love to goof off more in the summer. But the Jazzi books always take me longer to write. They’re more involved with more different types of scenes. The Muddy River stories go faster. They’re shorter and they’re more direct.
That said, I’m MAKING myself write a plot point for every single chapter I mean to write for Muddy River 3. And it’s a good thing. The idea that bloomed in my head for this story felt brilliant and wonderful, but trying to make it stretch into 32 plot points has caused some serious cussing and stalking from my office to the kitchen, remembering that I haven’t organized my sock drawer and picked lint out of my bellybutton. Uggh!! I’ve made it to point 19, and I’ve kept things moving in the plot and more clues coming to light, but I still have 13 chapters to plot. Making myself write them all can make me crazy, but I’d rather fight with them now than hit that spot in my story where I know I don’t have enough of anything to finish the book.
I’m lighting incense (not really) for inspiration and struggling with patience I don’t normally have, but I’m going to FINISH these things! And then, I can write! That’s where the real fun starts. I even like rewrites because that’s when I pick up a drab leaden story and polish it to a brilliant shine. (Or as close as I can get to that).
I might fuss about plot points, etc., but the only part of writing that I really dread is the final proof copies I have to read through for Kensington for the Jazzi books. I don’t mind the initial edit copies, but that final proof–the one I just read and can’t change unless it’s to correct mistakes–is painful. If I could duck out of that, I’d do it. Because by that last proof of a galley, I’ve looked at the book so many times, the entire thing sounds like garbage to me. And I see all the things I could have done better, but can’t fiddle with anymore. Luckily, it’s a long time between returning that galley and the book actually being published. If enough time has passed, I actually like the book again. And I’m excited for readers to find it.
Alas, I have a LONG time before I’ll rewrite and rework Muddy River 3. Right now, I just need to finish plotting it. And then I need to WRITE 32 or more chapters… And then I need to polish it and send it to my critique partners…. And then I need to rewrite it again. And then… thank the heavens, I’ll be ready to post it on Amazon and hope for the best:)
Wherever you are on your book or project, good luck. And happy writing!