The Writing Process

Getting My Mojo Back…

If you read last week’s post, you know that I’d hit a rather epic wall of “writer’s block.” The characters of my last book flatly refused to leave my brain to allow the characters of my current book room to take up residence. After writing that post, I forced myself to get a first chapter on paper (well, on screen, in Word, whatever). It wasn’t easy. It’s a very rough draft of a chapter, and it has all the clumsiness and hurriedness of a draft, but it’s a first chapter completed. And it has set the mood for the book and the characters.

As the chapter began to percolate in my brain, I started to get that old feeling back. It’s the opposite of writer’s block, but it doesn’t have an official name that I know of. I suppose it’s just called “writing” as opposed to “not writing”, but it’s more than that. It’s an energy that starts building inside a writer and it starts to burn like fire. I call it my writing mojo.

Suddenly scenes are playing out like a movie in my head (I’m totally a visual writer – I see my scenes before and as I write them). It can happen at inconvenient times, like while I’m driving, or at work (I spent several lunch breaks this week sending emails to myself of totally awesome scenes that refused to wait). The new characters have not only taken up residence in my head, they’ve now taken it over. And that zip of energy they bring with them is exciting. I’ve visualized that scene that has to happen in every romance, where Melanie and Shane first feel the spark of potential between them. It’s funny and sexy and emotional and charming. I’m a little in love with it, and with them.

And just like that, writer’s block is a think of the past! I’m now typing words so quickly that my fingers can’t keep up with my brain. The story is just spewing out of me and onto the pages like a monster I can’t control. And it makes me smile. There will be a book after all, and while there are certainly points over the coming weeks and months where I’ll hit the brakes again and fight with scenes and argue with my characters about what they should and shouldn’t be doing, I know there’s a romance novel here – and it’s a story that’s worth telling.

Welcome back, mojo!

The Writing Process

From One Book to Another…

It’s hard to leave the past behind, and that goes double for leaving written books behind. The characters of The Hide-Away have firmly taken up residence in my brain, and they’re not leaving without a fight.

I love them. Truly, I do. It took a while, and a few good swift kicks in the behind from my BFF, to finally warm up to their potential. But once Bree and Cole became fully-formed characters in my head, I was a goner. Her long, red hair and fiery temper to match. His intense blue-gray eyes and gritty determination to resist feeling any emotion. The fireworks that went off every time they were together. Their sassy give-and-take and sarcastic comments. They were fun to write, and it was rewarding to watch them laugh and stumble and grieve and grow.

But I wrote “THE END” on their story in July. It’s in the hands of a (so far) enthusiastic Harlequin editor, and I pray it will be acquired and published. But it’s time to move on to Bree’s cousin, Melanie, and her story with Shane.

The problem is that very time I start to write about Melanie, I see Bree’s red hair and bristly attitude. Every time I work on Shane, I see Cole’s silent stare and crooked grin. But Melanie isn’t ego-centric and worried about appearances like Bree was. She’s a smart, independent businesswoman who’s in a bind because of one lousy decision. And Shane is the opposite of Cole! He’s big and brash and loud, full of good Irish humor as long as he can forget the legal bind he might be in because of his family. They’re really cool people with a story to tell.

But right now? Right now they’re fighting to get a foothold in my very over-occupied brain. Bree and Cole and the characters from Hide-Away refuse to give ground. They’re preventing Mel and Shane from becoming three-dimensional characters ready to build their own story. And it’s all giving me a headache.

Is there such a thing as a writer’s eviction ceremony? “Get out of my head, Cole and Bree, and go live your lives with my blessing.” Or perhaps an exorcism is needed? Or maybe it’s just good old-fashioned writer’s block and I’m going to have to fight my way through it. Groan.

Words on paper. Words on paper. Must get words on paper.

And those words can NOT be about Bree and Cole……….