Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Down Time

The down time between books leaves me with mixed emotions. I just finished writing my second book in my new series for Harlequin Luna, and though I'm relieved to be done, I miss my daily routine and I miss learning new things about the characters I'd fallen in love with. In a way, I'm grieving.

That's just the emotional side of it. Intellectually I know I'm not totally finished with that book yet, but what comes next isn't the thrill of discovery. It's the revisions and edits that will be requested by my editor after she reads it. I admit that on top of the grief, I'm angsting over what my editor will think about this new book. Will she love at as much as the first? When we talked the other day, she'd said she was looking forward to my next proposal, so fingers crossed I'll get to write the third book that continues this series.

My agent and I plan to brainstorm this week about book three, so I think once I'm in the mindset of continuing Chalice's story, I'll get over myself. Ha! There's just that weird lull that hangs over me when I'm between books. It's kind of like waking up from a dream that still lingers.

I have a lot of continuing plot ideas that hit me as I wrote DARKEST KNIGHT, Chalice's second book. So I'm comforted with knowing her story isn't over. Plus I'm also thinking on ideas for other series as well. There's no end to that constant exploration of new stories. I love that, but at the same time I'm eager to get back into the swing of having a book in progress.

My design career is in limbo at the moment, so now's the perfect time to jump feet first into a new book. However, that being said, I'm stressing over the lack of income and need to pound the pavement in search of new design work. So I'm kind of in a weird place right now.

If you're a writer, how do you feel after completing a book? Do you need a break, or do you want to immediately launch into the next one?


Julia Barrett said...

There are times when I feel drained after completing a book and it seems I can't begin the next for several weeks to a month or so. Other times I switch to a secondary WIP and I'm off and running. Guess some stories take more out of me than others!

Terry Spear/Terry Lee Wilde said...

Hi, Karen, excellent post! I usually take a day break, sometimes read through some old stories I'd like to revise and sell, clean house, then it's time to get back to work. I work full time so I don't have a lot of time to "take off."

Like you, I'm always thinking up new plot ideas for a continuation of the series, so when I finished Book 10 in the wolf series, and still hadn't sold some more books, I was having fun just working on some old stories. Then I sold 6 books in one deal. Which means, I'm back to one day of grace and I have to tackle another book! I'm nearly finished with the first of the jaguar series, and like you, my editor just got through with reading my 9th book, said she loved it, but now it's time to learn what she wants changed!!!

Good luck on yours and on your new proposal!!!

Chiseled in Rock said...

It's so much like having a kid grow up and move out. Yeah, maybe you raised 'em right, but they still might go out and marry a slacker. For that reason, I drink excessively between manuscripts.


N. R. Williams said...

Loved your post.

The way I feel depends so much on what is going on with my life. Right now we are selling the house, an offer is on the table, we are waiting on the bank, and then we heard that the buyers had a death in the family which will delay everything two weeks. I don't mind staying at the house two more weeks, but the whole up and down process robs me a lot of my creativity which means my current WIP is suffering. If things are mellow, then I'm all about continuing to write.
N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium

Dave Kelley said...

Finishing a book is exhilarating. But it's followed by that lull. After I've spent so much energy on a project, I don't seem to get much done for a couple of weeks after that. I'm thinking maybe I should just not worry about it and call it a vacation. LOL

Anonymous said...

I feel much the same way. I miss spending so much time with my characters. I miss them in general. And I need downtime. When I've finished a book, I rejoice in the accomplishment, but by that point, my brain feels beaten to a pulp and in need of recovery time.

It's a good time to read, though, so there's that.

Karen Duvall said...

So true, Julia. Personally I'll feel better once Liz (my agent) and i have chatted about the next proposal. She's so great about that. It really helps to have someone to bounce ideas off of.

Karen Duvall said...

Wow, Terry, that's a lot of books! 6 books in one deal? OMG. Amazing. Thanks for dropping by!

Karen Duvall said...

Haha, Dave. Very good point. Now i want the kids to come home and visit... a lot.

Karen Duvall said...

That's true, Nancy. External events always affect my creative process, too. That's a good subject for a future blog post, about the things the affect creativity, good and bad. Good luck with the move. :)

Karen Duvall said...

Dave Kelley, that's a good way to think about that lull, as a vacation. It's good opportunity to shift focus on something else and come back to writing with a fresh perspective. I'll try that.

Karen Duvall said...

Dorothy, yeah, it's the same for me too. My eyes go blurry if I try to read through that manuscript again. It's too soon. Time to read someone else's work for a change. :)

sex scenes at starbucks, said...

Imin between too, and right now I'm relieved. The book needs a ton of work but I think I'm through the toughest part. I am sad, but it's a four book series so I know there will be more to come.

Due to deadlines I'm off on different projects and a blog tour so not much time to celebrate. I was up writing the next day.