So I’m supposed to be working on one book, because I’d like to, y’know, FINISH something someday. Just a general ambition. Things have been progressing reasonably well on the cheesy romance, except that it’s getting less and less cheesy and a lot more mainstream. Texas chick lit, maybe, except that I’m sure chick lit, or at least the term, will be dead and gone by the time I finish this thing. And good riddance to the phrase; books deserve a genre label that isn’t inherently condescending.
But I digress. An old project ambushed me this morning. I doubt if anyone reading this who hasn’t been in a writing group with me will remember the desert story, which was one novel, then two, then one again, then nothing more than a pile of notebooks in my garage. (They’re not in disgrace or anything; I just don’t have a better place to put them until the office gets finished next week.)
Last time we visited the desert story, it was two novels set across three generations, mostly skipping the second one. And this bothered me greatly. I mean, you read one book, and then you get the next one and it’s about the grandkids? And you don’t get the stuff in between? Even though something significant clearly happened because several people are now dead?
Basically I knew who needed to be killed off but I didn’t have a clue what happened to get us there. After some deliberation I decided that there had to be a middle book after all, but… what?
I set the subconscious to work on this problem while I worked on other things. This was all some time ago, and in the months since I’ve gotten a small glimmer now and then (“That old idea about the guy being an idiot? No, no, he died heroically, but everyone thinks he was an idiot because they weren’t there.”) but nothing more. This morning, the girls in the basement (TM Jennifer Crusie) sent up an unexpected gift, which arrived in several parts: the overall conflict spanning all three books, how this ties into things already planned for the third book, how the second book must end, how to incorporate a cool scene I’d written with no intention of using it anywhere in this story, and oh yeah, a title for book #2.
That whole not-writing-at-work rule went straight out the window, because when you get a gift that big, you take notes.
I still don’t have any idea what book #2 is all about, but at least now I’m starting with an ending.