I shared with you last week that I had a new idea for a book. It was actually an old idea, one that had been spinning around in my head for sometime, but with only a setting as a backdrop. This last week, a few other elements fell into place, and I sucked it up and began to write.


I can’t tell you the freedom I’ve found in starting this new book! For the past two years I’ve engulfed myself in the story of Jenny, Jack, Paige, Peter, Kat and Matthew. I’ve lived and breathed them, and loved every minute (for the most part…) Their stories are ingrained in my heart, and they will always be special. Jack and Jenny’s story is complete, Paige and Peter’s is over a third done, and Kat and Matthew’s is well on it’s way too.

So to start a new work in progress was a little scary. It’s probably why I’d waited so long. But I’ve been debating on the need to finish book 2 or 3 or wait to try and sell book 1 first. (Someone told me that it’s better to have a finished first book in a series, and a proposal for the others so a potential editor can give their input on the story idea. Not 100% sure on that, but am praying about direction in that.)

This last weekend, I took the leap. I started my book! AHHHH!!!! I’m very happy to report that as of this evening, I have a whole whopping 5657 words written! Not too shabby considering I work during the day and I didn’t really start writing it seriously until Sunday.

Is it good yet? I guess that’s a matter of opinion. So far I’m really happy with the progress. I’ve started my character sketches, and wow, it’s so fun to meet new characters and get in their heads!

We leave on Thursday for NC to pick up my girls, and I hope to get some good writing in on the trip there as well. My goal is to be at 10,000 words by the time we get home! It’s a large goal, but I don’t do anything small. I have so many ideas in my head, and since I’m a SOTP writer, I need to just sit down and spew the words onto the screen before they escape!

Discussion: I know some of you are on your first book still, but regardless, how do you start your next book? Do you do prep work, such as an outline, character sketches, *gulp* an entire chapter by chapter GMC work up? I’m curious as to what others do at this stage in the process!



  1. Congrats on making such great progress! That's exciting! I'm starting my new book too. But before I can start writing, I litterally do hours and hours and hours of research. (That's probably the case for most historical writers.) So, while my fingers are itching to begin typing the story, I have to do the research first. And as I'm doing it, my characters unfold and my plot takes shape. I do try to have a general idea of the GMC, but certainly not chapter by chapter. I think it's good to leave some room for our stories to change and grow as our imaginations flow!

  2. I'm still in my first WIP, but I have ideas for other books in my head. It is hard not to dwell on them and finish this first story!! I didn't outline this first story of mine that much. I had a general idea and just went with it, but I think for the next one, I will outline. I think I need more structure, because I get stuck and there are plot holes. So that is my plan. OUTLINE!!!! 🙂

  3. I finished my first novel and have 2 more to write in the series. I have parts and pieces of them started…but nothing concrete yet. I also have an idea a brewing in my head for a completely different novel I'd like to start. But it's still a baby and needs to grow before I can start writing more. I have the prologue completed on it though and I ADORE it. So it's a good start 😉

  4. Jody: I'm really trying to do better on the GMC this time, up front. On my last book I wrote it using logic, which was fine, but I have to beef up the motivation now and let me tell you, THAT'S a fun revision process.*grin*

    Sherrinda: I am not an outliner either. For this book I'm doing a character sketch and detailing GMC, which is a huge step up for this solid SOTP writer. KUDOS for you for trying though, and I can't wait to see how it goes for you!

    Marybeth: Yeah for your prologue! We'll talk about the current trend in publishing against them in another blog, ha! I have a prologue for my first book too, but I don't tell anyone (shhhh it's a secret!) I figure when I get an agent I can casually send it to her/him and say, "what are your thoughts on including this?" I'm not attached to it, so wont' be offended if they roll their eyes and say no. *grin*

  5. When I started submitting—first to agents, then when it started going from my agent to editors—I had the first book in the series (Stand-In Groom) finished. I had an idea for the second book, and a vague notion that the third book would focus on another one of the characters from the first one. AFTER Barbour signed me for Stand-In Groom, they asked me if I could come up with something different than what I'd suggested for the third book. Well, by that time, I'd started on the second book and discovered who the heroine of the third book would be—which gave me a totally different story idea. Even though my second book had yet to undergo its metamorphosis (which occurred because of me and my change of the characters/storyline), Barbour bought the other two books in the series, based off of those synopses.

    So, yes, it's a good idea to know where your series is going, but not imperative that they be written before you start submitting. Because there is always the possibility that an editor could ask you to change something in your first book that would significantly alter what happens in the remaining books in your series. Or, like me, they could ask for a completely different plot for one of your sequels.

    New story ideas are wonderful! They stretch you creatively much more than working with characters you've been hanging out with for years. Believe me, I know—that's why I've been having so much trouble getting Forbes's story written!

  6. Kaye, thanks for the encouraging words!!! I think I feel pretty confident in setting aside the second two books for a little while until I complete this, and while I try to sell the first book. It was just hard to let go of them. *grin* They'd become like family!!!

    But Maddie and Rueben are fast capturing my heart as well, and I'm so excited to see where I'll lead them, or, more aptly, where THEY lead me! (although I reserve the right to throw in a ton of roadblocks on the way to spice things up!)

    Can't WAIT to read Menu for Romance next month!

  7. Yeah, Krista! I love starting books. I know, I'm a freak. LOL.

    I usually do a MIND MAP. Just put a box in the middle of a blank piece of paper and then put my main character's name in there. Then I let the mind wander.

    I sprout out ideas, thoughts, super powers (yes, I write paranormal). It's really really really random.

    I goof around with that, think while I bike ride, and then, usually, one morning, I wake up with a way to start it…

    Then, I sit in front of the computer and let my fingers go as fast as they can.

    No worries for typos, grammar, nothing. I just type. Always time to fix things later.

    I'm working on finishing up my seventh but am stuck at 65,000 words…so we'll see what happens with that. LOL.

    Write on, sister!!!

  8. I usually start a story with a character. They just pop into my head and tell me stuff. Plot is where I get bogged down. Must be why I have countless stories started…

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