Monday, August 27, 2012

Writing the Next Novel (Getting Your Groove Back)

Since the query process is taking its old sweet time, I've finally made myself work on something else. But it's been like torture trying to get even 300 words out of myself in an hour. Most of my ideas are for later on in the story ... it's the beginning I'm not sure about, and that's where I am. I'm still getting a handle on the characters, working on their introductions, laying the groundwork for what I know is coming. It's exhausting. With the last book, I flew through the first ten chapters in a week (of course, the first three didn't survive revisions at all), but that's far from happening this time around.

I know it's not a race, but it's frustrating when something that came so easily before is now a source of intimidation. I'm going to blame it on my inability to completely refocus on something other than querying. It's easy to say "dive into another project" but really, you can't ever forget that you're waiting to hear back from actual agents. It steals your joy consciousness. I mean, it's exciting for any of us to be at this point--we finished an entire book! That's huge, right?! But now we have to work on another one. And my original goal of a chapter a day is not quite happening yet. But I'll get there!

How do you transition from one completed book into another with new characters? How long does it take you to get your groove back?


  1. In times of waiting I sometimes work on something completely different. If I finished a book, then I tackle a short story or a how-to article next. Something about being in a different category helps turn the writing switch ON.
    Catherine Denton

    1. You make a good point, Catherine! Mayhaps what I'm working on is just too similar to what I just finished, and I need to stretch my brain on something completely different, like a short story. *scratches chin*

  2. I totally hear you. I'm querying and have partials and fulls out. I'm trying to focus on my new WIP so that I don't dwell on the querying process. Fortunately I'm past writing the painful first draft. Now I'm editing it. :)

  3. Yep, I'm in the same spot. I'm querying and that process is like watching water boil (although, that's faster). I have one novel waiting to be edited and I'm writing something new. The first draft process kills me and there are parts (like right now) that have me stumped. It takes time (I know from the second novel I wrote), but hang in there things will come. I think it's also because we know more, which should make it easy, but I also think it makes us question more. Good luck!

  4. I feel like all I have to say is ME TOO! I'm querying right now and I'm obsessively checking my email about every seven minutes. I'd say you're ahead of me at the moment, as I have yet to start a new project. (I made the decision to take a month-long break after finishing my last WIP, and the break is great - although now there's nothing to take my mind off the agent thing...)

    So the long story short is I have no groove right now. BAH.

    Good luck with your agent search and the new WIP!

  5. "The querying process is taking its old sweet time"... you can say THAT again!! I've started working on a new project too. I usually just dive right in because I always have ideas waiting in the wings that I really want to jump on before I lose inspiration. If you're a plotter, planning the story (or at least the first few chapters) can help you ease in. Good luck!

  6. One of the biggest things I've learned is that every book is different. I've flown through some and struggled with others!