Michelle Rowen

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The Process + Inspiration Friday

I feel rested and recharged after taking a couple days off. I’m ready to start my next book — well, ready might be the wrong word to use, actually. I’m in “prep mode” right now. I am slowing immersing myself into the world of Eden Riley, the heroine in LIVING IN EDEN — and trying to figuring out exactly what plot and themes I want to tackle in book #2, tentatively titled EDEN’S DEMON.

I know several key scenes and I have the first chapter already done, but I want to chart my journey out a bit better before I begin because I know without a detailed map I tend to falter and end up with a lot of revision time when it comes to doing the second draft. Since I’m not much of a multi-tasker, I like to wait until I’m finished one project before I jump into the next with both feet. So here I am. Loitering on the edge of a deep cliff, wishing I was wearing more comfortable shoes.

Starting a new book, for me, is the scariest part of the process. And damn it all…it never seems to get easier! ;) The idea of writing 350-400 pages of cohesive plot, interesting characters, and sustaining conflict + attempting to inject at least a layering of humor to it all, is not a small undertaking. It’s a real leap of faith — faith in myself that I can actually do it. But I swear, this difficult and brain-draining act of creation is what gets me up in the morning….or early afternoon, depending on the day. There’s no greater feeling than having a good writing day and getting into that oh-so-elusive zone with the fingers and words fly as if channeled to you through some higher power.

Dude, I’m getting a tad metaphysical, but you know what I mean. I think. 

Being a writer is the hardest job I’ve ever had, the least reliable, the most stressful, the most competitive… but I would not trade it for anything in the world. Well, maybe being a movie star. But even then I might still write on the side.

LIVING IN EDEN was a lot of fun to write and I developed a big world for it before I did anything else. My first task is to reread that book and reacquaint myself with the characters and their issues. These characters have A LOT of issues. I’ve told a few people that Darrak, the demon, may be my favorite “hero” character I’ve had from my books — at least as far as writing him goes. He has a really good sense of humor which makes him a lot of fun to write. Sure he angsts and stresses, but he balances it with some major wit and he couldn’t be described as emo. 

I wrote this in 3rd person all-heroine POV because I knew in other books I wanted to leave open the opportunity to have hero POV. And I’m going to utilize that a lot in EDEN’S DEMON. This book is going to have a focus on Darrak, while the first one focused on Eden.

And, yes, I realize this means nothing to readers of this blog because the first book isn’t out yet! But this is my thought process when planning a new book. And this will be my 12th contracted book I’ve written. Holy crap!!

So…I’m going to read the first one again and make my “bible” of things I need to remember — character’s looks, world building stuff, hints I left myself (without perhaps even realizing it) about future plots. Then I’ll make a bullet point list of “must have” scenes. Then I’ll put those bullet points in order of how I think they’ll appear in the book. Then I’ll fill in the gaps with sub-bullet points. Then I’ll break it down into three acts. This part sounds like work, but honestly? Pre-writing is my favorite part of the process. Everything is still so clean and shiny and perfect. It’s only when the writing actually starts that things stop going the way I had them planned out. But, as long as I know roughly where I want to have happen in the middle, the climax, and how this puppy is going to end, I’m golden.

I estimate my official writing start date will be Monday or Tuesday depending on how those bullets go and how neatly my GMC (Goal, Motivation and Conflict) fall into place.

Oooo, I’m getting a tingle. I’m excited. And apprehensive. And scared. And buzzed. And craving chocolate (damn you Nutrisystem for sending me 10 crappy almond biscottis and NO chocolate bars!).

Personal deadline for first draft: July 5th. Official deadling: August 1st.

Let’s write a book.

But of course, I do need my inspiration. Since I’ve already worked with these characters, I already have them cast in the movie in my head. Darrak doesn’t look exactly like Ryan Reynolds, but he does have his body and his sense of humor……. so close enough…. ;)

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