Saturday, January 30, 2010

The "I'm Done" Bummers

We all have this image of writers turning the corner of their almost complete manuscripts, hunched over their computers, humming and wiggling (well, I always see wiggling) as all the threads of their tale twine together in a blissfully tight, balanced and functioning braid. It's a wonderful image that counterbalances the imagined nights of agony and hand-wringing that brought the beast to life. I love that image. Someday I would like to see it.

I have just finished the manuscript that will be the second in my series. It had a complicated set of time lines that required me to keep straight who knew what when as characters learned the truth about the cruel twists of fate that had set each of them on their paths. I'll spare you the details. The upside was that my female lead finally got an explanation for the hardships of her youth and, more importantly, got some serious justice for them, including some gruesome boot-to-face contact. Trust me, she needed it. The entire experience was cathartic and exhilarating. To use the old saw, "I laughed. I cried. It was a triumph."

And now it's over.

The story flowed with an almost obscene ease, leaping from the page in less than six weeks with a plot line so tight you couldn't fart within it. (In no way do I credit this with my brilliant writing. Sometimes life throws you a break.) In many ways I felt like I was just plugging myself into it and letting it run through me. And now, it's over. The source is unplugged. I'm feel like the nerd in disguise at the cool kids party who has been discovered and tossed out on my ass. The story is partying on without me. I'm left sitting here wondering what I used to do.

Sooo, the best solution has to be to start another one. Not the third in the series, despite the coaxing, pleading and outright threats of some of the fans of the line. Instead, I'm wandering off into unmarked territory. I'm trying something I've never tried and, like it or not, you all are going to be witness to it.

I'm trying a mystery. *insert evil laugh here* Stay tuned!


Liz Lipperman said...

Sheila, first off, major congrats for writing "The End." I am so jealous you spitting that out in six weeks! I am a pathetically slow writer.

I also want to take this opportunity to welcome you to the world of mystery writing and I'm anxious to hear how it turns out. What is the genre of the two books in the series?

As far as the nerd tossed out of the party, there are plenty of us nerds out there who would love to party with you!!

Anonymous said...

Oh Shelia, I feel your pain. It's so exciting being in the "now" of writing. Most times, for me, the words flow and I don't even know what they are. When I read what I've written, I'm like, "Huh? Who wrote that?" But I love being in the story, watching it develop, and applauding the ending. But you're right; when it's done, I feel so strange. I wonder what the characters are doing. Do they even care that I stopped writing?

Typing "The End" is so exhilirating, but so lonely.'re writing a series. Then, the writer gets to "play" with the characters more and doesn't have to say good-bye just yet.

Good luck with the mystery!

Anita Clenney said...

Wow! Six weeks. That's fast. I used to think I wrote fast, but I think I'm editing more as I go now so it takes longer.

It's a great feeling to finish the story, and like Kris said, if it's a series you get to see them again. But even if it isn't, I spend so much time editing, I get to see those characters over and over again. So much that I get sick of them. Then, I take a short break, read a book, go to the mall, and when I jump back in, it's like a family reunion.

Starting a new story will be a blast. Mysteries are great. Good luck!

Mary Martinez said...

Shelia, I've posted three times, now I can't remember what I said in all of them. LOL.

Congrats on finishing. When you say goodbye to your characters it's like good friends moving away. They're still in your heart but they're no longer next door for a cup of coffee.

Good luck with the mysteries!

Cassy Pickard said...

Sheila! What good work to have a second done in the series and still have so many weeks left in the year. At your rate of 6 weeks, hmm, you should have at least 60 books this year with a week or so off for good behavior.

Keep us posted on the mystery. Many of us write mysteries and it's so so much fun to hear of how others decide to "off" our victims.

Debra said...

Can't wait for the mystery!!!