Friday, June 1, 2012

Writing a Series = No Breaks!

I always loved writing.  I'd savor it, take my time, treating it with the same pleasure as a bubble bath. When I finished one, I'd take a break of at least a month, telling myself I needed time to cleanse my brain of the characters.  Then I'd dither for at least another month about what to write next.  Once I sold a manuscript, not much changed.  And then I sold four.  At once.  Everything changed.

Exactly one week ago I finished book 2 in my Aisle Bound trilogy.  The old me would've celebrated for about a week, then mentally checked out of writing for a while.  The thought of not having the luxury of following that routine due to contract deadlines scared me.  In theory.

In reality, I started thinking about book 3 the very next day.  Because I wanted to, by the way.  I'd planted quite a few good, teasing nuggets in #2 about the hero of #3, and I can't wait to get his story out.  One week is all I gave myself to plot and outline the entire book (and learn how to use Scrivener!). 

Did I enjoy watching movies on Netflix twice this week?  Of course.  I recommend Enchanted April for a good period piece, and HIGHLY recommend New York, I Love You.  But the whole time I kicked back, only using my computer as a tiny movie screen, I felt a bit adrift.  Like I'd left something undone.  Which I had - the tiny matter of the next 97,000 words.  To me, the end of book 2 was just a really long setup for book 3.

So there's no break in store for me this time around...and I'm excited about it.  What about you?  Do you like taking the time to shake off the last set of characters, or plunge forward?


  1. I think the old way is smarter, but we don't have that luxury ;)

  2. Why would you want to take a break? If you're not writing, you're not giving your readers what they want - more books. And without more books, you're not getting new sales.

    I get reader mail on a daily basis praising me for having a lot of material out there - yet they want to know what's next. Who am I to deny them?

    Two books back I finished a book on one day then switched series / characters and started another the next day. I finished that novel length story in around 3 weeks, then I took another day off and inspiration hit on a car ride to Florida. New book, new characters, and I've got no idea where it's going but I'm loving it and about 10k words in 2 days later.

    I understand where you're coming from regarding a good series. The characters get under your skin and demand to have their story told. With readers willing to enjoy it as much as we enjoy writing, why deny yourself the pleasure?