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The Lull Between

April 20, 2010

On Monday of last week, my co-author and I finished our first novel. It took us a year and a half, and two edits so far (and one re-write), but we finished Rachmaninoff. By Saturday, we’d done a once over of it to catch anything else we might have missed (which included expanding one scene to make another make more sense), and we sent it off to three proofreaders who had kindly volunteered their time to us. We should receive everything back by May 20th, at which time we will do yet another pass through to edit with their suggestions in mind. June 1st, it officially goes to our editor, who will then have it for 4-6 weeks.

We have another novel, Catalyst that is perhaps 1/4 written, but it is in the process of an edit with my husband to fix some point of view errors I find impossible to deal with. Kris and I cannot work on it until that is fixed and we make some final decisions on our outline for the novel.

So, at the moment, we have nothing we can really do. It is this downtime that bothers us both. We both feel we should be doing something, but have little impetus to do it. With Rachmaninoff, there were firm deadlines we had to meet. With Catalyst and The Keeper, those deadlines are farther in the future and don’t loom as pressing as Rachmaninoff‘s did. This is a bad thing, as it means we waste whole days doing nothing truly constructive.

We did speak on the phone for a little while yesterday, where there was brief discussion of writing a polyamorous-based piece that starred an established triad of two men and one woman (all sexually active with each other) and focused on their attempt to include a fourth man who comes from a more conservative, monogamous background. This highly interested me, as I am polyamorous myself and the issues Roger and I have dealt with could easily, and truthfully, be added to the story to lend it that sense of realism and not simply drama for drama’s sake.

It would be a contemporary romance, and we’ve not really tackled one of those aside from Catalyst — whose main focus is the BDSM and how it impacts both Logan’s and Kasper’s lives — and I think it could be wonderfully interesting. It would also be the first piece we’ve written that stars a female and includes het sex (which is something we CAN write, we just… haven’t much). It’s just a matter of putting thoughts together and creating an outline. While we wait to do that, though, should we waste time playing around with the characters or should we pull out one of our other outlines and settled down to work on something with no deadline?

The lull between, when there is no release date pressing down on you, no deadlines to push you, is a dangerous time. I don’t like feeling unproductive, and I don’t like wasting time. I like focusing. The key to being an independent author is to produce quality, enjoyable material while also producing quantity as well. Having frequent releases throughout the year, as well as a hefty backlist, are important, and I keep that in mind while also finding it frustrating to find motivation without firm deadlines to push me.

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