It's been just over three weeks, but a lot has happened since my last post.
Ten days ago my 3-book deal with Sourcebooks was announced in Publisher's Marketplace and I was finally able to shriek and leap about with joy (or, okay, wave both fists in the air and emit a kind of teapot sound (which you'll see Rose do in Curves For Days when she too receives exciting news).
Then I finished work on the second manuscript and submitted that a little early (my inner procrastinator doesn't know quite what to make of this).
And now I am alternately taking some time off and thinking about the manuscript for the third book. The one I think of as Sin Wagon. I've taken those index cards outlining each chapter back down off my planning board, and I carry them with me pretty much everywhere I go as I think about which kinds of situations and conversations and settings will best let me show what's going on with these characters, in their lives and their heads and their hearts but also deep down inside at a level maybe they themselves aren't aware of.
It's almost time for me to just sit down and do some writing on it. I know that however long I wait, however long I spend thinking about it up front, there will still be things I'll need to rethink and rewrite later. I wrote most of the first chapter a while back and I already know that part of it needs to change, and how that part should be different. It's just my process ... Think. Write. Reread. Think more. Revise.
Or at least that's my process now. It's changed some since I started and I imagine it will keep changing. I get great ideas from other writers on Twitter about how they go about things, how they work around obstacles, how they jar their ideas and words loose when they've become stuck, and that's fun. Shout out to Jenny Lane, who writes beautiful, swoony love stories with queer characters; I plan to use her "just write out the dialogue first" (no descriptions, no dialog tags--those can be added in later) method to get a jump start on several chapters, to get myself going and build up the kind of momentum that leads to enough progress that finishing the manuscript seems less overwhelming.
And then once I have it written, I can reread and fix things to my heart's content, at least until I hit a deadline. Shout out to whoever it was who clued me in to Word's immersive read-aloud feature to help with that; there's nothing like hearing a not-quite-robot voice read back your words to catch typos and awkward bits!
So, tomorrow, back into the writing I'll dive.
Happy Autumn, everybody.
Laura Moher, navigating this new world of writing and publishing her stories.