Today I'm going to start the new book. I know, I know--I just handed a "new" book in last Tuesday, and I did edits on the previous "new" book, too. (Okay, haven't handed them in yet, but my editor is out of the office until Wednesday. It'll get there.)
Actually, on Friday, I didn't have a clue what the new book would be about. Okay, I did pitch a one paragraph load of hogwash over a year ago, thinking I'd come up with something--but maybe might have a better idea in the meantime.
Mind you, it wasn't really hogwash. It's just that I pitched something off the top of my head figuring if I couldn't come up with anything different, I'd make this work. Then I read the pitch about a month ago and started to panic. I thought over and over again about the figment-of-my-imagination idea and how nothing was happening in the idea-generation portion of my brain that would expand that 150-word paragraph into an 80,000 word book.
I had a BIG day Saturday, and I'd forgotten to set the alarm, so I laid awake in bed (because it was warm there and the rest of the house wasn't) and decided to think about the story so I wouldn't fall back asleep. Maybe I'd come up with that "better" idea. But I didn't. I started thinking about the setting where the murder would take place. I started thinking about the weather, the time of day, and who would be nearby. After about ten minutes, I decided I'd better head to the COLD, DRAFTY office and start putting these ideas into the computer before I lost them.
I didn't write a lot. Not even a page. But it was enough to get me going. I've had the story on the back burner all weekend, and I feel like I'm ready to make a first stab at Chapter 1. In fact, I'm looking forward to it. (Which isn't how I usually approach a new book. Usually I go into total procrastination mode.)
Now all I need is 80,000 words and a really good title. (And I'll bet coming up with the title will be harder than coming up with the storyline.) I may end up having a contest to come up with the title, and if I do--I'll let you know.