Monday, May 26, 2008
So here I am, spinning my wheels. I've been circling the new book, SILVER FALLS, like a suspicious Rottweiler sniffing at the butt of a Doberman. I've written chapters, tossed them, notebooks full of notes, I understand my characters, and I find the story fascinating. It was inspired by the fact that Ted Bundy lived with a woman and her daughter during part of his killing spree and never touched them. And I wondered what that would be like for a woman, living with a monster and not knowing.
And then of course as I made notes and thought about it I considered that maybe the man she was living with wasn't the killer after all (and no, he won't be the hero). And the daughter is spunky, the heroine cool (tall, redheaded, sturdy, a photographer), the hero is troubled (brother to the man suspected of murder), the setting dark and gothic-y (Pacific Northwest town called SILVER FALLS where it rains all the time).
But it's fighting me.
In the meantime, I have an ICE book that's been begging for attention. I had been all set to write that directly after FIRE AND ICE, and then we thought maybe I should write something different, something new.
But FIRE AND ICE has done extremely well, and I need to tell Finn MacGowan's story (I left him a prisoner in the jungles of Colombia with everyone thinking he might be dead). His father died of self-starvation in prison in Ireland, and Finn is charming and sexy and filled with a deep anger he never shows. And don't even get me started on Mahmoud, who's going to grow up and have to deal with his childhood as a soldier.
On top of all this, I have a deadline.
So I've got to hunker down, ignore everything else in my life (happily) and figure out what to write. Can I work on two at the same time? SILVER FALLS in the morning and ICE in the afternoon? SF for one week, ICE on alternating weeks? Try to write a very rough draft of one, put it aside and write a very rough draft of the other, then decide?
I suppose I have to be responsible and a grown-up. But you know, to be a writer you have to be in touch with that stubborn, rebellious dreamer who stared out the classroom window rather than listen to the teacher droning on. You do what you have to do, not what you should do. Except what the hell do you do when you want to do both?
Have you guys ever been stuck with trying to choose between two things you love? If I write SILVER FALLS I'll be ignoring the ICE book, and vice versa. Aaargh.
How do you choose? Or do you just do what you're supposed to do? Help!