Monday, October 31, 2005

I don't write about writing nearly enough, but since it's topical -- and since I'm in a good mood, and don't feel like being a bitch, which is rare -- I thought I'd share for a moment.

And here is my true confession: up until a few weeks ago, I was paralyzed by writer's block.

Now, this is never a good thing. But it's a very, very bad thing when your editor is expecting a 100,000-word manuscript no later than January 15, 2006, but you only have 14,000 words on paper... and the story is just not coming together for you.

The fact is, I would look at the monitor and have no idea what I wanted to write. Yes, I knew the story... it had been outlined to death. But knowing the story and typing the words are two very different things. Those words were not coming, and, with a deadline just three short months off, I was starting to panic. Yes, I even lost sleep on more than a few nights.

Obviously, I would not be telling you this if I hadn't had a break-through. I don't mind sharing the occasional insecurity with my readers, but I am not going to publicly admit to failure.

That break-through came two weeks ago, and quite suddenly. In hindsight, it was really quite obvious... all that I had to do was think just a little bit outside the box I had created for myself.

Because my first two novels were written in the first-person, I found myself trying to make the third book's narrative conform to the same structure, but it wouldn't fit. I mean, how many times can you have your main character Google someone for the purposes of exposition?

So I decided to switch the voice to third-person, and now things are sailing. I've knocked off another 24,000 words over the past two weekends and have a renewed confidence in my ability to deliver a polished manuscript on its due date.

September, 2006: When the Stars Come Out will be on bookshelves everywhere. No need to write everything down right now... I'll be reminded you when the pub date is approaching.

Suggestions for a location for the book party will be accepted at any time...