I’ve got an extreme case of it right now. The plan is to start my next historical. I’ve pitched the idea to the agent and she likes it. Although we both agree I seem to have a propensity for taking the “hard way” when it comes to story ideas. At least half of this book is going to be told through two servants’ povs. That’s right. I’m going to have to sell NY on the idea that servants can be sexy and romantic too. How much harder can that be from trying to tell people that a mute witch in 1698 is the next big thing? Let's hope I do better this time.
I’ve thought about little else besides this idea since I turned in my last proposal. I wanted to have at least 3/4 the book done by June. That’s looking a little less likely right now.
Certainly, I’ve been doing everything I can to prep for this book. Reading Victorian history books, Victorian true crime fiction, actual Victorian fiction. Books on domestic servants, etiquette, money… all of it. I’ve been studying the streets of London and maps that indicate class distinctions. Mayfair vs Whitechapel and that kind of thing.
I’ve gone over the opening scene in my head a million times. I know what the heroine is going to say and how the mystery is going to unfurl. I know the back stories of my characters. And I know how the primary relationship will progress and most importantly how it will end.
The middle is vague, but it always is. I just trust that since I know how it starts and I know how it ends and I know what has to happen in the middle that the tiny specific details will come when needed.
So why can’t I start it? I sat in front of my computer on Saturday and looked at the blank page. After several minutes, I told myself I wasn’t ready and subsequently turned the computer off.
Why the sudden case of Startabookaphobia?
I think it’s because I realized that right now it’s a really good book. I mean really good. It’s different, it’s edgy. It’s got lots of twists and turns. It has all the feel of a creepy Victorian mystery steeped in thick London fog mingled with my sarcastic humor and the propensity to create really strong heroines.
I love this book… in my head. It is the execution of it that I’m afraid of. Can I get it right? Can I handle all these pov’s? Can I make what is in my head hit the screen in a way that will be so good everyone will get behind the idea that I’m using servants as two of the main characters?
I don’t know.
I’ll conquer it eventually. I always do. But right now it’s really powerful. I guess I just have to wait until that moment when my desire to tell the story will override my fear of failure. I’m pretty sure that’s how I started writing in the first place. Anyway – here is hoping that happens this Saturday morning!