I Didn’t Write Yesterday

I didn’t write yesterday.  I can hear your collective gasp of horror making its way across the ether.  What are you doing, taking an unscheduled vacation from writing!  After all the lectures (aka motivational bullying) you’ve delivered.  You hypocrite!

Well, it’s sort of an imperfect storm of events.

First, I finished the first draft of the novel I’m writing on Saturday.  Don’t usually write on Saturdays, but I was so close.  The missing guy was found in a most unusual place, the bad guy dealt with in a most unusual manner, the leading characters successfully bedded and happy for now.

So I get to start a new novel!  Except:

First, I got the first round of edits on Return from Avalon (and Points West) (novel #2) back from Soul Mate Publishing last Thursday and I have to review/approve/comment on them.  Number One priority.  I ignored them until yesterday, as wrapped up as I was in the end of Avalon, S.C.  So I’m going to spend several hours a day on them until they’re done.  I’ve only done a chapter (out of 26) so far, and it’s not a lot of fun.  Nose to the grindstone, Rusty.

Second, I have to move Avalon, S.C. (novel #4) forward.  My plan is to let it sit for a week (perfect timing with item #1 above, wouldn’t you say?), then do a critical reread, decide if there are any major modifications that need to be made.  And then begin the 1st rewrite.  Once I start, I’ll be posting 3 chapters a week here as they come out of editing. I’m taking a vacation the first week of May, so I might not start posting until I get back.  Stay tuned!

For you latecomers, I did that very successfully with Strange Bedfellows (novel #3).  Ended up with quite an enthusiastic crowd of readers giving me grief because they had to wait for the next chapter.  As well as extremely valuable feedback.  Strange Bedfellows is in the proofreader’s hands, and should be ready to go out by the end of this month.

Third, I have to decide what I’m going to write about next.  I’ve been brainstorming like crazy, but haven’t decided yet.  Since I do my very best thinking while driving, I’m thinking of taking a little road trip to finalize the “plot” (using the term very loosely).  Probably have an Arthurian connection somehow, unless I decide it’s time to leave my happy little niche behind and venture out into the cold, cruel world.

Two of the leading ideas have female leads.  All 4 earlier novels have been written in first person, and it’s decidedly my voice of choice.  So my question for you is: can I write an entire novel first person with a female hero?  So far, my 1st round readers and critique groups are skeptical.

Don’t think research will help.  I’ve pretty much spent a lifetime researching the female mind and my understanding is still only at a kindergarten level.

So . . . got any great ideas for a novel?



20 thoughts on “I Didn’t Write Yesterday

    • My concern is that I can do 90% of the voice well and authentically, while totally screwing up the other 10%. Or maybe only 2%. Those parts that require accurate voicing of those alien feelings.

  1. Rusty, what about novel number 1? Where is it? What are the plans? Can Bradley have his day in the spotlight?

    I say write the book that is demanding to be written. You know the one. 😉

    • The answer to your question(s) is: whenever somebody is interested in publishing it. Thought the most expedient path forward is to get a resume of some novels published, then go looking for an agent or a different pub house (the alternate answer is: whenever you find a publisher for it).

      • Debby’s response was typically beautiful. Can’t wait to meet her in person.

        “You are one creative man. If Bradley Schuster and the Holy Grail has a love story, then I’d be happy to read it. If not, it makes me wish I had a sister company. 🙂

        When you’re ready, send Strange Bedfellows along.”

      • 1. You can write. 2. You’re creative. You know I’ve always admired your work. Having said that….

        Well.. guess what!!! We (Soul Mate) is starting a MAINSTREAM category! 🙂 and furthermore as it expands, we will start a Mainstream publishing group. How great is that!

      • Love this concept. We can divide novels into two major categories. First, you have your romance novels. The purists might disagree about what is or isn’t “officially” a romance, and have written rules to help people decide. But from a little distance, the distinction seems clear. If the novel is “about” love/relationship/sex it is (or at least might be) a romance.

        And then you have the other general category, [not romance]. Again, the purists want to divide this up into sub genres: fantasy, mystery, thriller, science fiction, etc. But we know that’s just splitting hairs. It’s about “something else,” so it fits. All we need is a better name than [not romance]. Mainstream? Sure, why not.

  2. ” . . . can I write an entire novel first person with a female hero?”
    Yep. You can. The really important question is do you want to? Will you hop out of bed each morning–hopping is NOT actually required–saying “I can’t wait to write today”?

    Seriously, how hard it would be surely comes from the setting, the story, and your audience. My main character is off to buy “underwear” today. That word choice is intended to be humorous since no self-respecting romantic heroine would refer to her lingerie as underwear. Is this the world you want to live in for 6-9 months?

    Good advice above. As Will says, Go For It, you’ll know pretty quickly. And as Stella says, tell the story that must be told. Toni Morrison advises: “If there is a book you really want to read but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”

    Just need to add, you said: “I’ve pretty much spent a lifetime researching the female mind and my understanding is still only at a kindergarten level.” Remember my favorite advice from Oscar Wilde (I’ve got the bracelet): “Women are meant to be loved, not to be understood.”

  3. I have been incorporating more and more romance into my novel and I can say that it comes easier when I think of a personal scenario, a moment I’ve had in my life, and recreate it through the characters eyes. If you can’t make up romance the next most powerful thing is using first hand experience with tons of description. (Being as cliche in a clever way as possible)

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