Monday, February 1, 2010

And now, for my next trick...

Will & Maggie is finished. Sheared down to 55,000 words, it's as finished as it's going to get on my end. The plot is tight, the action and romance are intense, and I'm satisfied.

A new story has been burning in the back of my mind for a while now, and I finally get to tell it. There is research to be done first, and songs to update on my iPod. I have to figure out this new voice; where it comes from, where it's going. I like Justin, I just don't know him really well yet.

I'm surprisingly anxious about the change. Whether it's the switch from first person to third, or the change in gender, I can't seem to find my footing. Maggie was so simple to narrate, making it frustrating to feel blocked this way. I'm not used to being dead at the keyboard.

Here's my question: What can I do to get the words flowing? I know it's not a fair question to ask, since the muse is different for everyone. I have some ideas, and only a few of them involve alcohol.

1. Have a sit down with Justin. Just like Will and Maggie, I need a good backstory for this kid. It won't be in the book; it's purely for my own benefit as the author. There are so many things I need to know about him if I'm going to use his voice.

2. Get to know the 'third person'. Read it, practice it, learn to love it.

3. Throw organization out the window. I suck at structure. I rebel against it. If I try to start at point A and move chronologically to point B, there will be a violent uprising. It'll get ugly. Maybe I'll start at point Q, back up to point 4, and then jump around the timeline for a while.

4. Stop procrastinating and get busy. Seriously. Like now.

What works for you?