Sunday, June 19, 2011

S is ALSO for... (Continuing on with the What's So Random? Challenge)

Sundays & Stories

Sunday today means a final measure of peace and quiet for The Hubby and me. Not that we haven't had a wonderful time. Visiting with his family is always a blast, especially for me, because I didn't acquire my first sibling until I was 20 yrs old. So, observing my wonderful husband as he interacts and tortures his sister (who, by the way, is in her 30's, but I've noticed when you're brother and sister, age does not matter one iota--he still holds her down and does the whole spit-string-in-your-face bit... eww!) always warrants a whole lotta laughs and great story ideas.

Speaking of Stories, I cannot WAIT to pick up on my WIP again (I haven't written in two days--too much for me--but with the whole house guest thing...). It's a funny thing: I had a wonderful time writing Enraptured. Everyday when the alarm went off, I would jump outta bed and rush like some crazy mad woman, just so I could have even more time to sit down, show up at the keyboard. But when I finished the book, got through edits, began submitting, and started on a new story... Well. It wasn't the same. Don't get me wrong; I liked the new story. In fact, I rather loved it. Post-Napoleonic wars, soldier returns home from Waterloo to find the woman he married believes they were really never married at all, and now she's engaged to someone else. History, romance... my kinda thing.

Cover art for Diane Gaston's Gallant Officer, Forbidden Lady

But then something happened. I thought, "You've written two historicals, soldiered through edits, then started yet another historical. Why not write something different? Get some variety under your belt?" And so, I did. I started a contemporary, which really has a great concept--a true one, too; I based the hero off a good friend of mine's son. Did my research, started listening to country music (it's set in a fictional town in Evangeline Parish, Louisiana), made a great story-board, filled out character charts, and...

Got bored after four, maybe five chapters. Why? I don't know. Contemporary concept, maybe? But I actually like reading contemporary (if you haven't picked up a Kristan Higgins novel, you're missing out); what's the difference if I write it?

Clearly a big one.

Wherefore art thou, Muse? Hast thou deserted me?

I put it down. Thought. Brainstormed. Talked with my CP. She offered encouragement, a few threats; I don't know, the details escape me. Finally, I started a YA paranormal. Again, great concept--no, really!--solid characters, shape-shifting, telepathy, another dimension...

Not so much.

Enter more brainstorming. More deep thought. And y'all, when I tell you this, you gotta believe me: A light bulb quite literally went off in my head. "PING!"  "AHHH!" "TA-DAAAA!" or whatever sound a really bright burst of light makes; take your pick. Seconds afterward, Le Muse rolled her eyes, sighed, and said, "Why don't you combine what you know, and just go with it?"

Why didn't I think of that? So, that's how I got here. Writing YA Steampunk. Young Adult (check), Historical (check), Contemporary (check), Paranormal (check), Sci-Fi (check). All wrapped into one concept. And the best part? I'm back to where I was with Enraptured. Loving the writing process. The creation of it all, the world-building, getting to know my characters, hearing them converse and laugh and fight in my head. Chaos? Sure it is! But I love it.

As a writer, what part of the process do you love most? And, like me, is there a certain feeling which comes over you when writing a story close to your heart? A story you really, really love? Is there a point you reach where you think to yourself, "Oh, yeah, baby. You're in this for the long haul now. Let's do eeet!" ?

Peace, Love, and Junior Mints,


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