Tuesday, October 02, 2007

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...

No this isn't a blog about Dickens's Tale of Two Cities, but about the mixed feelings I have as I embark on a very intense week of research for my next book. As you might have seen in the "Coming Soon" section of my website, I'll be doing another back-to-back trilogy for Ballantine--this time featuring Clan Campbell.

Yesterday, I turned book #1 in to my editor. So today I kicked back, watched a little TV, played tennis, did a little shopping . . . Not. I'm on a very tight deadline which means that while my editor is reading the first manuscript, I need to be fast at work getting started on book #2. The hope is that while she's reading book #1, I'm writing the synopsis for book #2. Hopefully, by time I get the revisions from her, I'll have the synopsis ready so that we can "switch." She can look at my synopsis while I'm doing the revisions for book #1, that way I can start book #2 immediately on finishing the revisions for book #1. Confused? Me, too. Which gets me to the best of times/worst of times conundrum.

One of my favorite parts of the writing process is doing exactly what I did all day today: research. I love pulling out all my books, reading all the passages I can find on a certain subject, googling until my eyes cross...basically immersing myself in the stories and history of the Highlands. It's that moment when the world is my oyster--when I can write about anything I want to.

But unfortunately that "oyster" part slips away much to fast and I actually have to DECIDE what I want to write about and put it on paper in the form of the dreaded synopsis (i.e. the "worst of times.")

Undoubtedly the biggest change I've had to face in my writing process since I sold is the need to write from a synopsis. Before I sold I had a general idea of where I was going to go (little scenes, black moment, major turning points), but most of the story would unfold as I was writing. The synopsis would come after the book was complete. But now, I have to turn in some kind of synopsis before I write the book. Of course I can change it, but I've realized that I kind of like getting more of the story down before I start writing. Not that it makes writing the darn thing any easier.

So wish me luck!