Monday, March 18, 2013
I've been beating myself up for the last couple weeks. After I finished my revisions on Running from Ruby Ridge, I spent the normal amount of time enjoying the fact that I finished a freaking novel (how long is normal again?) and then I ... stagnated.
I'd had the idea for my next book in my head for a while, but I'm the kind of writer who can only focus on one thing at a time. I know some people who work on more than one project at once, but to me, that's nuts. So anyway, while I was drafting Ruby Ridge, I could not really think about Book the Next. I mean, I did think about it, of course, but I didn't really think about it, you know what I mean?
So now I spent the last two or three weeks diddling around. I wrote some character sheets (I've never messed with that before). I wrote an outline (a really bad, really thin one). I researched the bit of real life that inspired the story. But ... it wasn't until last night that I finally realized it was okay what I was going through.
Sometimes a story needs time to solidify in your mind. I wasn't to that point yet. I think I might be now.
How do you know when you're at the point? I'm not sure, and I'm not sure it's the same for everyone, but for me, it's when scenes are coming to you while you're driving. When the story is invading your dreams. When lines of dialog spring into your mind while you're in the shower. When you have to have a notebook, or at least your phone, with you at all times because you never know when you'll be struck with inspiration.
Yeah, I'm there.
When do you know you're ready?