Now that The Forget-Me-Nots is published, I find myself in a situation I haven’t been in for quite some time. I’m between projects. So, what should I do next?
- Start a list of book ideas. An idea is percolating. That’s a good thing for it to do. Jumping right in to the next project isn’t always the best idea. Sometimes the better one is to brainstorm another adventure for these characters or contemplate an entirely new cast and setting. Besides it’s Christmas. Why not write several prompts about what these characters do to celebrate? It could be a pivotal scene in the next novel!
- Set goals. I have already started a few goals as described in my recent blog entries. Maybe asking for a planner is a good plan. I did! But, not just any planner. A novel planner!
- Study craft books. Another way to generate ideas is to read about what others have done. Craft books are an excellent source of inspiration. At present, I am reading Jeff Gerke’s The First 50 Pages.
- Scribble. Sometimes simply putting pencil or pen to paper generates ideas. Grab the nearest scrap of paper–even if it is a napkin at the coffee shop–and write down the first word that comes to mind. Get inspired with a word-prompting adult coloring book. Splurge on a journal and fancy pen. Go back to the spiral notebooks and dime-a-dozen pens from school days. Practice that signature for the future best-seller that will begin with the word just written on a gum wrapper.
- Survey my surroundings. Speaking of the coffee shop, sharpen those sensory hacking skills and troll the patrons for character traits and dialogue. Describe this typical cafe with its whirring cappuccino machine and place it on the outskirts of a nebula named after a best friend or first enemy. Or have your own characters walk through the door and set the scene.
- Seek out solitude. Speaking of coffee shops again. Find an escape. Maybe it is five minutes in the car after everyone else has gone inside. This is a good time to put those scraps of paper to use. Or it could be a pretend conversation on the phone. Be sure to write down what was not said on the other end.
- Search for new books. Surf Amazon for bestsellers, new authors, and free offers. Fill that wish list and pass it on.
Whatever you do while waiting for words, don’t forget to add The Forget-Me-Nots on that must-read list!