by Dean/Miranda James
I'm going to riff on Donna's blog post because I'm at a similar stage. I recently finished a book and about to start writing the next one. This is always an odd time for me. I'm thrilled because I managed to complete another book but terrified that I won't be able to finish another one.
You'd think that, after having completed what will be my eighteenth published novel (available January 29, 2013) that I wouldn't be all that worried about starting number nineteen. After all, if you've done something eighteen times, surely you have the hang of it by this point. Yeah, you'd think so.
I have this weird quirk about a new book -- I can't start it until I have the first sentence thoroughly worked out in my head. I might jot a version or two of it on a piece of paper, but the book doesn't really seem real to me until I type that first sentence onto the screen (and immediately save it). That first sentence is so important; it's the "hook" that will draw readers in and convince them to read further. So it has to be the best I can make it.
By this point I have thought about more than the first sentence, of course. I've spent a fair amount of time thinking about the characters and the plot, and once I get the green light I'm ready to move forward. Hoping, of course, that my conscious and my subconscious will play well together and help me come up with about 70-80,000 words that actually make sense.
One of the most fun things about writing is that moment when the subconscious comes through with just the right line of dialog or an inspired plot twist. I rely heavily on my subconscious because frankly I think it knows a lot more about writing a novel than I do. I have to feed it by thinking about the book when I really need to shut my mind down and go to sleep so I can get up the next morning and be coherent at my day job, but that's multi-tasking, right?
If my subconscious cooperates again (and I can come up with the right first sentence), number nineteen will appear on the shelves sometime around the first of February 2014.