After a month (actually, five months) of intense work, I turned in the third GWI mystery, Murder Most Maine, on deadline (Monday). I then spent the rest of the day relaxing. (Of course, the page proofs for On the Prowl arrived Tuesday, so that ended quickly.) And although I still have to clean up the third book of the Tales trilogy by the end of this month, I’m taking a two-week break from all my projects… and am already feeling that angsty in-between-book feeling.
It’s not like I don’t have anything to write. I have plenty of options — both in existing series and elsewhere — but after spending a few years in the company of Natalie the innkeeper and Sophie the werewolf, I’m in the mood to step out and try something a little different. I even have a character in mind, and a chunk of story that’s appealing to me. But it means creating a whole different world, and pushing myself by using a slightly different voice.
Just for fun, and to break from my habitual writing style, I pulled out an old composition notebook and the only pen I could find (which happened to be a rollerball with silvery-turquoise ink — it must belong to my daughter) and started writing. And the jolt worked, even if it’s virtually impossible to see the ink once it dries. You have to hold it at a certain angle, you see, or it vanishes.
But the change of venue — writing on lined paper, not the computer, and with weird ink — seems to be helping. Robin Hobb, when she changed writing styles, took a pen name — and says it gave her greater freedom on the page. Isn’t it interesting how these little mental tricks can help change course?
Of course, it’s early days, and we’ll see what happens; it may be a false start, but it’s too soon to tell.
It’s funny, though. I was going to give myself a two-week total hiatus, and seem to be incapable of doing it. I cannot not write. Which I suppose is better than the alternative.
Now all I need is a name for my character…