I was stumbling around around trying to write a short story and suddenly reminded myself that my goal for 2018 was to do longer fiction. Short stories don’t sell that well. Cursed Planet, #3 in the GALCOM Universe series, is in with the copy editor.
I have ideas for at least two more GALCOM books.
I’m thinking maybe I need a bit of genre diversity.
I kept circling back to mystery, because I do like mysteries. I read Nancy Drew and Trixie Beldon when I was growing up. Phyllis A. Whitney was one of my favorite writers then, too. And I read Michael Connelly, J.K. Rowling, and Lee Child. In fact, it’s hard to get science fiction or fantasy in Washington, DC. The library tends to stock more mysteries.
Muse is running in circles, a little panicked. I’m actually not sure why. It might be that my first novel, the Novel That Must Not Be Named, was a mystery. I had a terrible time with it. I hit that 1/3 point, got stuck, figured something was wrong with the beginning, and revised the beginning. Then I would get stuck at the same point again. Rinse, repeat.
It went on for years. Coming up with ideas was hard then. I didn’t have any other ideas that could be a novel, and besides (I told myself over and over), I already invested so much time in it. So I wandered between the novel and short stories (see the pattern? I fell into again. 😦 ).
Then there’s the second issue…
This book is going to make use of a long neglected research area that I know very well: Hollywood.
This is mainly because the 1940s-1970s in the time that interests me. Today’s politicking celebrities and gritty productions–Pfff!
But 1940s is historical.
Historical is SCARY!
My association with research for fiction was writers who approached it from a position of fear. Fear that they were being graded like in college. Fear that a reader would call them out on an obscure fact. I remember one writer bragging–actually bragging–that he researched the weather on a specific day 50 years ago. I’m more of a big picture thinker and though I could never write at that level of detail. Never mind it made Muse want to hide. Just not creative friendly.
A workshop on research for fiction writers helped a lot. Though I need to get my feet wet…actually I need to bellyflop right in.
Then there’s the third issue…
Which is to finish the story in 30 days, starting May 1.
That’s got Muse in a panic, too. I’ve never actually been able to finish a book in 30 days–and this is finishing with cyclical writing so that once I reach the end, it’s done. I’ve said before that I would finish the story in 30 days and then I got stuck (that 1/3 point) and it took six months. I got it down to three months.
So we’ll see what happens with The May Project.