I’m trying to be creative in two different fields right now–marketing and writing. That’s not unusual for most authors. We have to wear both caps these days.
Now that The Final Ride is finished, I have to come up with some brilliant plans to let everyone know about it–hence Monday’s report on Let’s Get Visible and the previous posts, “What Comes After ‘Book‘” and “It’s Done, Now What?” Yes, I’ve been reviewing books on marketing/promotions/publicity, etc. (right now, I’m rereading Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s The Frugal Book Promoter), but I also cheated this time. I hired someone to help me develop a timeline that comes complete with a set of ideas I can pursue. That alone is a huge weight off my shoulders. At least I feel organized.
I’m also trying to write an “entr’acte” for what I’m tentatively calling The Circle-Bar Ranch Series (a name that changes on a regular basis) to connect the 2011 publication (and 2014 repub) of Give the Lady a Ride with the probable 2016 publication of its sequel, The Final Ride. Considering Give the Lady a Ride was supposed to be a stand-alone and was never intended to be made into a series, this has been a challenge all the way around. I’m tickled with The Final Ride, and I know my readers are going to love it, but the entr’acte? I’m getting bare glimmers of ideas for it.
Entr’acte, if you didn’t know, is French for “between acts.” I thought it would be fun to come up with something in my secondary characters’ POVs. Marie Lambeau and Chance Davis play a huge role in Give the Lady a Ride, even though neither ever have a POV scene. My readers grow to love them as they fall in love with each other off-stage, so I decided to make them the center of attention in the entr’acte.
And that’s as far as I got. I don’t even know what I’m going to call it, so Entr’acte is its working title.
Going back to the idea of being organized–and in keeping with my constant experimentation with my writing style (remember all those posts about how I refused to “edit while I write,” only to have to admit I can’t break the habit?)–I’m writing an outline, of sorts, for this in-betweener. I’ve never deliberately sat down with pen and paper to outline a novel. I always have a general idea of that first chapter, and after I get it written, I just go from there. This time, I don’t have an idea for the first chapter–or anything else for that matter.
Monday I pulled K.M. Weiland’s Outlining Your Novel from my shelf, along with the workbook, and sat down to figure out how to do this. Katie starts by having us come up with a series of “What ifs,” which stumped me, I’m afraid. Since I didn’t have an idea bouncing around in my head, the best I could come up with is, “What if Linda decided to write a book starring Chance and Marie?” and since I already knew I was going to do that, the ol’ brain simply shut down.
But bless her little Nebraskan heart, Katie doesn’t expect us to take this outline-creation business in the same order she does. Yesterday, I jumped ahead and looked at her questions to help develop the two-sentence premise, et voila! Ideas started jumping like kids on a trampoline, and I finally grasped enough of them to kinda, sorta, maybe have an idea of . . . something. Which, as hazy as it sounds, beats what I had when I sat down to all this Monday. It’s a start, right?