For me, that new project glow is a mental state. See, it’s not real secret that writers are a neurotic bunch. Maybe even a bit sadistic in the torments we put ourselves through, but each one of us who stick to writing have something in common.
We love what we do. We even love it when we’re doing something we hadn’t planned on doing, or didn’t really see ourselves doing. For the moment, for me, that means writing a contemporary romance with no suspense element. I’ve written paranormals that are different from my traditional suspense books, but even they had a little suspense in them. This latest book is completely free of suspense. Unless you count the suspense of which meddling granddad will win the bet. 😉
The idea started with a conversation with my editor. She suggested I try a straight contemporary romance where the hero and heroine meet, date and fall in love. Simple right? I couldn’t think of things without slipping in a cop or a Fed. I had to keep backing up and reminding myself the new rules I was trying to follow.
Fortunately, I’ve made some great friends over the years. I was talking to one of them (Cathryn Fox) and mentioned the new approach I was taking. I also mentioned that one day I wanted to do an anthology. She said, let’s do it. So, we talked to another friend of ours (Mackenzie McKade) and now the three of us are putting together a contemporary romance anthology that is shaping up to be erotic.
It’s forced me to expand my definition of what I could do as a writer. It’s required quite a bit of brainstorming and research to help me get the feel for the area we’re setting the story, but also for the characters and the kind of life they live. One particular area of research for me has been sailboats.
See, my hero is a sports journalist who primarily covers sailing. It makes sense to me that for him to do this right he would have a sailboat. But my hero can’t have just any sailboat. I see him as living on this craft year round so it’s got to be a nice one. So, I went sailboat shopping.
I chose a 40.5′ Hunter Legend. His particular boat has ammenities my car and house combined are lacking. And it looks great on the water.
I’m having to do some look ups to make sure I kep the lingo straight, because while I am writing fiction and don’t mind taking certain liberties, I may as well be accurate with these kinds of details. You know?
Anyway, the research has gone well and I was so excited to get to writing that I’ve written almost 5,000 words today. It’s only a 20,000 word story, so if my luck and pacing hold I’ll be finished this week. I’ve already had that moment in the story where I fell in love with my hero, which adds to the new project glow, and my heroine is too fun – even if she did almost give the hero a concussion. It was purely an accident and after stitching him up she apologized in the nicest possible manner.
This excitement level has made me realize again how much I missed starting a new project, and I’m eager to wrap this one up so I can start on the next one because I’ve rested from the creation of new stuff and I’m ready to be at it again.
Tell me, what’s something that gives you that happy happy glow? How do you maintain it or get it back to push you closer to your goals (if that’s your situation)?
Heart stopping puppy chases, childhood melodrama and the aborted hangings of innocent toys are all in a day’s work for Nikki Duncan. This athletic equestrian turned reluctant homemaker turned daring author, is drawn to the siren song of a fresh storyline.
Nikki plots murder and mayhem over breakfast, scandalous exposes at lunch and the sensual turn of phrase after dinner. Nevertheless, it is the pleasurable excitement and anticipation of unraveling her character’s motivation that drives her to write long past the witching hour.
The only anxiety and apprehension haunting this author comes from pondering the mysterious outcome of her latest twist.
Visit Nikki at http://www.nikkiduncan.com/ to learn more about her books and her quirks.