Writing the Right Novel
Have you set aside a novel in progress because it was just too hard to write at that point in time? I just did. The futuristic thriller is on hold and I’m back to working on the fifth book in my Detective Jackson series. I feel so relieved. I still plan to write THE ARRANGER (set in 2023), but I’m not in the right space to do it now.
It’s hard for me to admit something is too challenging, but that’s the truth of this situation. Because I’m still a full-time freelance editor, as well as a novelist and book marketer, I have a lot going on. I feel overwhelmed most days and my writing time is limited to mornings only. Being creative moments after waking up is challenging enough without trying to write a novel that is outside my comfort zone. That’s part of the reason I wanted to do it, but I’m making such slow progress that it feels like not writing at all.
So I’m setting aside the futuristic thriller for next year when I hope to have more time and focus to write. My priority right now is to get to a point where I’m actually making money from my novels and can give up some of the freelance work.
Which is why I’ve been in revision/edit mode all year, another reason the novel wasn’t moving forward. First I had to write and submit the second draft of PASSIONS OF THE DEAD (Jackson #4). Then I worked through line edits from my publisher for THRILLED TO DEATH (Jackson #3), which launches in print soon. I also worked through line edits of THE BABY THIEF, a standalone thriller that will publish next year and possibly sooner as an e-book.
If that weren’t enough, I decided to dig out a thriller I wrote years ago and revise it. That took time and focus. The plan is to publish the story, FATAL FLAW, on Kindle as early as next week. Now that Amazon is paying a 70% royalty, the income from this book will take me a step closer to my goal of making a living as a novelist. It’s possible my publisher will release it as a print book someday. It’s also quite likely that print books will become less and less of a consideration when I think about my future as a novelist.
I feel relieved and excited about my new direction, but also a little guilty.
Writers: Have you faced this situation? Have you put aside a novel because you just didn’t feel able to write it at the time?
Readers: When series authors take time off to write standalones, do you get frustrated waiting for the next series book? Do you try their standalones?