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Well, I lived through the Dread Synopsis. I whinged rather a lot, which probably added a decent handful of hours to the process, and I surfed the internets plenty, which no doubt added more. Step 10 of the previous post got plenty of exercise. Rum and Coke, I’ve found, is a helpful addition to the creative process, so long as you keep it to two. More than that and, well.

…The less said on that, the better, probably.

Anyway. If any of you peoples are gearing up for one of these and hate it like fire on a boat full of tarantulas in the middle of a cyclone in the Bermuda Triangle like I do (really: it was almost that bad), this is the advice I finally settled on –well, that and this— out of the several-hundred pages of synopsis-writing advice I read.

And now I move onto the Next Big Thing. Maybe. I should be, and sporadically am, revising my MS. I have fabulous feedback from almost all of my also-fabulous betas and there is, after all, a looming deadline on this one.  And I am, but because I’m also me, and I can’t do anything simply, I’m looking at the sequel I already re-wrote once and thinking hey, that needs a YA reboot too!

Probably I should ignore me this time. But we all know I won’t.

I tried, I will say that. I have about 10 other projects I could work on instead,  not to mention the revision. I started my weekly writing group hour-of-focus (hah!) planning to pick up something completely different, give my head a break from these characters, achieve some needed distance before diving into revisions, be sensible (stop laughing, I do manage to be sensible sometimes)…

And wrote, out of nowhere and with no malice-er, thought aforethought, a new beginning to, surprise, the sequel to this MS.

Brilliant.

I’m not one to go on about muses and following inspiration: I do believe this is a job, and routine is what saves you on the days when muses, inspiration, and the general feeling that you’re not completely wasting your time and maybe you should take up something less effort-intensive, like, say, parasailing all fail. Putting in the time regardless of whether you actually have anything to say is important.

And yet. I write in one of my 10 other waiting-in-the-wings-for-their-turn projects, all of which have a decent shot at becoming good books, and that’s what it feels like: clocked time. I wrote that new sequel beginning, and all sorts of neurons I’d forgotten I had lit up and started shouting it should end this way! and this will be the major catalyst for the mid-book turning point! and check it out, dude– a theme!

(That last little neuron may be permanently soaked in cuba libres. :P)

Anyway. I’ve always been a plan-it-out kind of writer: my books have detailed outlines, schedules, word count goals, and a kind of birth-order personality thing going for them. I definitely value routine over inspiration: routine shows up every day, whereas inspiration is kind of like sunshine in March –it’s almost always a surprise, and you take it whenever you can get it and hope it lasts for more than 5 minutes.

Nevertheless, when I get this much sunshine in my head, I’m hardly going to fight it.

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