Transitioning Between Book Projects
Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on June 27, 2011
Do you have a hard time jumping from one series to another when you’re writing in different genres? How do you fade out one set of characters and their world from your mind and switch to another?
I just made the transition from a contemporary mystery to a paranormal romance. It didn’t happen overnight. I took a few weeks off to catch up on emails and promo activities, to work on the book trailer for my next release, and to focus on household matters. But as those things receded from my priority list, the empty space in my head told me it was time to start the next book.
Although I had a rudimentary synopsis and plotting notes and already knew the background from the previous two volumes in the series, I didn’t know my main characters well enough to start writing the story. So first, I filled in my character development sheets and my romantic conflict chart. Next, I watched a couple of movies that have scenes in Las Vegas where the story begins.
My synopsis didn’t seem complete enough, nor was the villain clearly defined, so I added in some complications to the plot. I’ll rely on my critique group to tell me if the story flows logically and if the emotional highs and lows of the romance are adequate. At this point, though, I am ready to begin writing.
After a hesitant start, the story picks up. I finish the first chapter, eighteen pages long. This is rough draft only. I’ll keep writing daily at a steady pace without looking back until I hit the finish line. Then I’ll spend a few weeks on polishing and revisions.
So here’s my advice on how to transition between projects:
• Take a break and recharge your creative batteries
• Review your plotting notes on the new project
• Develop your characters
• Perform any necessary research on the setting
• Write the synopsis
• Begin Chapter One
It’s okay if you don’t know how your characters will react yet. I only learn that when I’m writing the story and see them in action. That’s when story magic comes into play and your subconscious takes your story in unexpected directions. You can revise your synopsis later; for now, just keep writing.
Seasoned writers, please share your experiences. How do you get one book out of your head and the next story simmering in your mind?
This entry was posted on June 27, 2011 at 6:48 am and is filed under Writing Craft. Tagged: books, creative writing, fiction writing, Florida authors, Nancy J Cohen, publishing, writers, writing, Writing Craft. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.