Thursday, October 19, 2006

A Writer's Life

A writer's life

I haven't been a regular blogger and I am sorry. Life keeps getting in the way. First and foremost I had to finish KISS ME DEADLY, my July 07 romantic suspense release . The galleys (final proofs) came in on ISLAND HEAT, the Feb 07 release. And both books needed quotes, dedication pages and acknowledgments. In addition, I've been traveling to conferences. In the last few months I've been to St. Louis, MO, Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta, Cleveland, Houston and DC. I'm not complaining. . .I love to travel and even got to do a local TV appearance. It's been fun. Time consuming. But fun.

And now I'm in the middle of helping to organize a Booktrailer (tm) for Circle of Seven Productions. We're shooting ISLAND HEAT with the same people who are on the cover of the book. (You can see them on my website then click on Future Books and scroll down the page) And I get to help with the script, the costumes, the actors. This past weekend we spent the entire day to get about 20 secs of film. Eventually, I'll put it up on my website . . . no, you can't see it yet. Sorry to be a tease.

And I'm also starting to think about the next book, POLAR HEAT, a sequel to ISLAND HEAT. This story is going back into space. And I need to start writing next week. All I need is a subplot, characters and an opening scene. Those openings drive me insane. It is so hard to write them. I must rewrite page one 20 times. On the other hand, I love the middle of the book, where I can put in all the complications. Endings get more difficult again. Wrapping up all those details is hard, too. Actually, there is nothing easy about writing. And the more I learn the more difficult it becomes.

So each book I try to work on one part of craft, hoping it will eventually become automatic. Sometimes this actually works. This book my goal is to deepen point of view. For a simple example, "He was worried," is a poor way to evoke emotion. It would be better to write, " He wondered if the kids were all right. Why weren't they running to the front door to greet him? Why couldn't he hear their happy voices? Maybe they were next door. "

It sounds easy to do, but for me, it's not. So the plan is to work on that as well as figure out my plot. All before Monday.

Susan Kearney


  1. Susan, I envy your experience that you love the middles of books. Middles are the hardest part for me. I always have trouble thinking up enough plausible complications to comprise a whole novel's worth of plot. My natural length seems to be novella, which Stephen King calls the banana republic of commercial fiction -- "Senor, I think your story will be here a long, long time." Thank Heaven for e-publishers, which actually buy the darn things.

  2. Margaret,

    Many writers feel exactly as you do--I guess I'm a little odd. But I have found that we all go about the process of writing differently. There is no one right way to write. :)

  3. Hey, Sue,

    It's Monday. Did you meet your goal? I have trouble outlining. It can take months.

    For me, the problem is that I have to know my hero really well, because I'm character driven, rather than plot driven.

    Best wishes,