Thursday, January 3, 2013

Dark vs Time

Columbia Tower, Seattle
I finished the second book to my Gothic romance series, went through edits, and submitted it to the agent/publishers. Now I find myself in that writing limbo where I have no active projects...and therefore, no direction.

It is one of the most free and fearful times of the year for me. I love the 'anything is possible' sort of opportunity to explore ideas for books. I also hate not having my writing routine. I feel untethered to the the day-to-day.

As many of you know from previous posts, I often work on two books at the same time. My main work which has a deadline, is usually part of a series, and very structured...and my thinking book. The one that I turn to when I have writer's block or I'm stuck in my main book.

Calico Ghost Town
Usually, well, inevitably, those secondary books turn into main books at some point. I seem to rotate them out as I go.

Currently, I have two such 'back burner books' that are circling the drain of my unconscious. Not quite going away, yet not really coming together.

Book one is a contemporary romantic suspense. A serial killer chase with lots of action and dark, dark scenes. It was something to chew on while I got into the Gothic atmosphere of the Noble Island books I was writing.

I like this book. We'll call it DARK. Its very meaty and the main character is so broken, that you wonder how she'll survive her own demons, let alone catch the one she's chasing.

The second back burner book is a historical romance. We'll call it RECKLESS HOPE. It is so completely different in tone and pacing from anything that I've ever written, I was surprised it even came from me. Yes, I write romance...but historical? Old west? Outlaws and damsels?

Hmm... Just different enough to entice me after I just spent so long in the depths of a mysterious island, grappling with Romany curses and lost loves.

I think the enormous amount of research involved in the historical is what's actually keeping me from writing it. I'm about 30K deep into both books, but DARK would just flow whereas RECKLESS HOPE would definitely take a lot of work outside of my writing zen.

So now, as I sit and avoid writing by blogging and tweeting and yes...even 'liking' on Tumblr...I still have not decided.

How do you deal with finishing a book and the loss of direction that comes after? I'd love to know.


Michael Offutt, Speculative Fiction Author said...

Serial killers make for great villains. There's just something so chilling about them.

Donna Hole said...

Wow, both projects look thrilling. I love the sound of Dark, but for yourself as a writer the historical would be challenging and invigorating.

I haven't finished a story in a long time - haven't written anything new. My one and only new years resolution is to sit down and finish something - anything.


Raquel Byrnes said...

Michael - I hear you on the chilling part. Its what I find fascinating.

Donna - You're right about the challenge...hmmm. :)

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I do the same thing when I finish a project. I always have two or more projects cooking and I have to decide which to work on. Have fun.

Erin Kane Spock said...

It seems harder to focus when not under someone else's direction. I look forward to seeing what you decide.

Laura Marcella said...

I don't work on two books at a time, but I do work on short stories at the same time as I write a novel. You're right that it's a good way to keep from getting burned out while writing the novel!

Raquel Byrnes said...

Susan - Thank you!

Erin - Yeah, me too. 0_0

Laura - It seems to work for me. :)

Ciara said...

I just started reading historical, so that caught my eye. BUT, I'm thriller fan. Boy, they both sound great. I don't think you can go wrong with either.