Wednesday, August 1, 2012

What next?


I finally finished putting my hardcopy corrections of IMAGINATION onto the file version. It was a grueling seventeen hours of nothing but eyestrain and sore back and fingers, but alas, it was all worth it. Now, it’s smooth sailing until the manuscript is complete. I have four chapters that are outlined but need to be written and I have two characters that I have to flesh out their backgrounds a little more, but otherwise the basic book is done. It always feels strange to me when I’m nearing completion of a project that has taken nearly a year to create. Usually fear is the first emotion and that’s for two reasons. First, as all writers, I fear the manuscript will suck (pardon my bluntness), and the second, the most pervasive fear, is what am I going to write about next. For me, an entire novel will come in one five minute burst of inspiration. Usually, I get about ten of these bursts before one really sticks with me. The certain golden idea will come and stay in my mind day after day and night after night until I begin the writing process. It always starts with a very brief summary of the story I want to tell and the characters I want to have in the book. Then I usually write a few really bad, quick chapters to see if I like the characters and want to continue. If I get twenty pages into a beginning the story will probably come to fruition. But what if that never happens again? What if I finish IMAGINATION and that’s it. Kaplooey. No more inspiration and no more books to write. I sometimes wonder what I would do with all that time on my hands. I wonder what hobbies I’d pursue or activities I would participate in. I wonder how my wife would feel if I spent an extra twenty hours a week by her side? Probably drive her crazy since she’s grown quite accustom to my writing schedule. Yep, that pervasive fear that IMAGINATION will be the last book I ever write can be consuming at times. But then, I remember the folder marked ideas and the hundreds of pieces of scrap and notebook paper scribbled with plots, subplots, and characters who have yet to come to life. And my fear dwindles… but just a little.