Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Quiet Moments

I'm in that strange, static moment between books.

There is still some work to be done on my last book, a round of revisions necessary to make sure all the characters are fully fleshed out and to get rid of some of that nasty telling vs. showing stuff.

I'm also starting to have thoughts about my next project. Ideas that float through my head as I'm trying to sleep at night.

But, what I should really be working on is a kick-butt query letter and a two page summary that doesn't completely suck.

Or, I could write a blog entry. Or two blog entries. Or even three!

The truth is, as much as we talk about the process of writing, a big part of that process is sitting around thinking about stuff. Weird as it is to be thinking and not writing during NaNo (while everyone else is posting frantic status updates on twitter) this is where I need to be right now. So instead of jumping into my final round of revisions, I'm playing over the themes of the book and trying to consider whether they come through in the details and interactions of my characters. I'm considering how best to bring those themes out in a query letter. (It's gotta be exciting!) I'm letting ideas for the next story gather in my head, like a collection of storm clouds.

This means that my head is starting to swell up and at some point I'll have to type something (a revision, query draft, outline, letter to my future self, anything!) if I ever want to sleep again. But, being a slow, mulling sort of person, I've learned that I need to give myself this time to work things through and get my chess pieces set up before I scatter them all about.

What about you? Do you tend to need a quiet period between books in order to adjust? Does your brain require nonwriting time from you in order to make the writing time better? Is it just an elaborate form of procrastination, or is it truly helpful?

Hope you're having a great week!


  1. Oh, I'm totally the same way! I'm literally ALWAYS coming up with cool story ideas...but I have to put in a LOT of additional think time before I can start writing one of them. The problem is that my writing process includes a lot of think time too...which is why I haven't gone in for NaNoWriMo; I don't feel I could do justice to my ideas in a month...unless I were writing full time.

  2. Yes, I do usually need some time between books to recharge and get my ideas sorted out.

  3. I had about three weeks off between finishing my last book and NaNo beginning, because there was no time to start anything new. I got a lot of reading done, but I also started waking up at three in the morning after incredibly vivid dreams. I don't do well without a steady stream of work.

  4. Arrrrgh, I hate being in between books! Right now I can relate--I'm revising on occasion on one book, but another one is resting. I'm on the edge of going nuts right now, and need to get back to some form of writing. :) But you're right--we need Mulling Time. Very important. Good luck with yours!

  5. I'm in recharge mode right now. My well is so, so dry, and I'm waiting on revisions from my editor, so it's just as well I'm in between books. Hopefully in the new year I'll start to feel creative again!

    Nothing wrong with taking time to mull ideas over. If that's what you need to do, that's what you do. :)