Friday, September 6, 2013

My Next Project

Happy Friday, everyone!

I have a confession to make—I'm dragging my feet on my next project. Technically, I have five in the works. I've mentioned before it's a horrible habit for writers to take on as it's the best way to get nothing done fast. I'm pretty sure this is a form of self-sabotage. I could blame it on the transition between summer—probably my slowest writing season of the year—and the madness of fall (kids back in school and sports, farmer husband preparing for his busiest season of the year), but I know that's just an excuse to hide behind. The real reason? I'm just a big chicken. I'm indecisive. I'm terrified of sequels. I'm scared of rejection. Take your pick.

I know I need to start pumping out sequels, especially to Shymers and The Day Zombies Ruined My Perfectly Boring Life as I really left those poor characters hanging. When I first started writing, I was a fly by the seat of my pants kind of girl. I wrote stories with no ending in mind, and no general outline to follow. This made for a lot of work in subsequent drafts (bless my editors' hearts), but it felt like the best way to let my creativity flow. While I still don't use an outline as that feels way too much like homework, I at least have the eventual goal of the characters laid out, and try to give a satisfying ending. And I can promise you, I'll never leave a book open-ended ever again. You'll sooner see me sky-diving or performing open-heart surgery.

Whenever I really enjoy the first book in a series, it seems the second almost never has the same magic, unless we're talking about Harry Potter (pun intended). And I HATE the formula of the second book that always seems to go like this: boy and girl who fell in love in book #1 are separated in book #2 and spend most of the time either trying to get back to each other, or mourning the loss of their love. I spent all of book #1 wanting them to finally hook up and most definitely don't want them to be apart again! So a big part of me is anxious in fighting in the formula. Another part of me is just worried it won't be as good as the first, and that I won't find the same "voice" of the character.

I've almost finished the first draft of the sequel to The Day Zombies Ruined My Perfectly Boring Life, and have my fingers crossed that it will be out by Halloween. Will Shymers be next? I hope all my fears, ADD, and self-doubt will behave enough to make it happen. Besides, as J.R. Tolkien wrote in The Return of the King, “The whole thing is quite hopeless, so it's no good worrying about tomorrow. It probably won't come.”

On that happy note, hope everyone has a fun weekend.


Sheena-kay Graham said...

Glad I'm not the only one who isn't an outline person. I print some character sheets to help me but that's about it. Yes some book 2's just don't cut it but you know you're still going for book 3 most of the time (damn us crazy readers). Psst...I've been having to force myself forward in writing as well. You're not alone Jen. Best of luck.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait for the sequel to The Day Zombies.... Loved Finn and Em.

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