What Next?

One of the greatest feelings around (right behind sex and eating) is completing a manuscript. Knowing that I actually completed a book never fails to bring out a sense of wonder for me. The manuscript for Once Upon a Project is the longest I've ever written, 117,600 words.

As of now I'm without any commitments, a situation that will likely last for at least a month or two while my editor looks at my next idea. This is probably the first break I've had in four years, when completing a mainstream novel and submitting a synopsis for a follow-up always meant starting on the romance that's due in six months. But I'm not sitting around on my butt watching soap operas (which I dislike) or even old movies (which I do) while I pat myself on the back for a job that at least I think is well done (the important thing here is what my editor thinks). Okay, so I have been tinkering around a bit in my closet, a task that I can't really attack in earnest until my husband's next week-long business trip, because it'll take more than a mere afternoon to go through all that junk, much less streamline it, and I don't want to hear him complaining about the mess.

So what am I doing? Writing. Just like always.

For some ungodly reason, since I moved to the Midwest I've found myself waking up earlier and earlier. During the warmer months, my eyes usually open as it gets light outside, which in these parts is about 5AM. Because I know I won't fall back to sleep, I just get up. And turn on the computer.

Right now I'm just creating as I go, with no synopsis other than a basic one-sentence summary. I'm alternating between three projects in my idea file, which works well for me. If I get stuck on one, the plot fairy starts twitching on the others.

It took a long time for me to get the discipline to constantly write, and I don't think I could lose it, even if I wanted to.

Which I don't.


Alvin C. Romer said...

Bettye, that last statement you made about creating as you go without a synopsis is a page right out of my train of thought these days. I too, am writing from that perspective, and I KNOW that this is not how you should go about writing a novel.

I know the story I'm writing and to my credit, things are flowing better with this concept. Here I am thinking that no one but me is writing in such an unorthodoxy way, and you are doing it yourself!

Alvin C. Romer
Book Reviewer/Publicist/Editor
c/o The Romer Review

bettye griffin said...

"Unorthodox" should be my middle name. I frequently write out of sequence, I love writing to music (usually with different styles for different projects), and do other things that would make many writers shudder.

I don't know there is any "right" or "wrong" way to write a book. If it works for you, it's right. If you get the damn thing finished and actually have something ready to be submitted, who's to say you did it wrong?


Donna D said...

I wish I had your discipline, Bettye!

I've been home all day and I spent it on the internet catching up on some blogs and doing some research for writing groups in the area. I should have been writing!

bettye griffin said...

That's enough Internet surfing, Donna! Now get to work!

Patricia W. said...

I hope to develop that discipline. I know, I know...Get to writing!

bettye griffin said...

See my post for today (July 10th) for a special writing challenge going on right now! I'm doing it myself.