Back in 2007, I was challenged by a former blogmate to increase my heat level. I wrote the upcoming Teacher's Pet with much blushing and minimizing the screen whenever a child would happen to walk by, or even the husband. I was uncomfortable typing certain words and phrases (scroll down to see last week's post!), but I knew if I ever hoped to be an Ellora's Cave author, I'd better use them.
After a while, I got used to all the description; the story was flowing, and I was also challenging myself in my first NaNoWriMo, to see if I was capable of a) writing and meeting a daily word count goal and b) keeping my heat level up. I nearly killed myself, but I eventually accomplished both goals. I had a 50, 038 word document, and sex, sex, and more sex all the way to the end. I was so exhausted and sick of my characters, I didn't go near that document for three months. Mission accomplished, and you know the rest of the story.
My next challenge came a year ago September. I had crashed a class reunion, with people I'd not seen in over 30 years. They found out I was an author, and soon, after a few drinks, three people came to me with 'ideas'. I came home, started writing, but stalled. Then an email from a reader changed that work around. Who knew a simple change of setting, character names, etc, would spark the creativity? I should be receiving a contract for 'Class Reunion' soon.
But my largest challenge is a storyline which came to me last year. I'd gotten hooked on a certain Discovery Channel show, and an idea sparked. But, I know little about this lifestyle. How can I write about something I know only slightly about?
I decided to get the basics down. I saved several episodes on my DVR, and started writing. Disaster hit; I not only hit a wall with the story, but someone deleted every single one of my episodes. I'm hoping the characters 'call' me to finish their story! Same goes for a 'Dancing With The Stars' storyline I have going. I've not touched it in two weeks, and even then, the story's not flowing. I have a bunch of disjointed scenes and really no motivation to tie them together yet. Again, when the time is right, it will call me back. For the moment, I'm concentrating on another story I began about ten or so years ago, but didn't know where it was going. Well, now I do, but the war in Iraq has filtered into it. Now I need to do research on VA hospitals and rehab. Sheesh! This is not the book I'd intended to write, but the characters are adamant it stay in. Wish me luck.
I've said it before; I need peace and quiet. I need to lock myself in a hotel room for a month. No kids, no husband. Just me, my computer, a hot tub within easy access, good food, and plenty of cookies. Preferably Fig Newtons or Chips Deluxe. And a hefty supply of Hershey Bliss Milk Chocolate squares. Or Dove.
Now I have a challenge to my friends James and Travis: Finish our story! I wrote about a disgruntled worker three years ago, and you suggested zombies for the next scene. So where is it? Get it written already!