Sunday, October 31, 2010

Old dog. New Tricks.

I recently started working on a new project. It's going to be yet another departure for me. I worry that after forays into chick lit, romantic suspense and urban fantasy, adding yet another sub-genre will make me look like I have Author ADD in the worst way. My editor says it's the mark of a publishing survivor, but she's incredibly nice to me. 

Anyway, while it's true that my process for each sub-genre has been a little bit different, this time it feels REALLY different. I've always written character-driven books, but usually a scene or two will pop in my head as I figure out my characters. I like to think that the scenes have moments that show, rather than tell, what my characters are like. 

Not so much, this time. I've got a sketchbook that I'm toting around with me to jot notes in about characters and places and important ideas. I'm reading a lot and going to some lectures. There have been a few stray lines of dialogue, but no actual scenes. Instead I'm going seriously deep into these people's heads (even though they have no names) and their relationships and their backgrounds. 

I had thought that, by this point, my process was pretty much my process. I thought I was pretty set in my ways. Apparently I was wrong. It's exciting and a bit frightening, but it's nice to know I can twist myself into a new pretzel still.

How about you? Is your process always the same? Or does it change as you change projects?

4 comments:

Sinead M said...

My process is very similar from book to book, but the books have been similar in tone, and structure.

I think if I did write something very different, I would have to change my structure. Something to think about. Really interesting question, Eileen.

Molly O'Keefe said...

I love that publishing survivor line - I think it's totally true. You adapt and change or you bang your head witht he same stuff against the same doors waiting for the tide to change.

I'm totally intrigued on the new project - all the other Drunk Writers are doing such interesting new things. good luck Eileen - tells us more when you can.

Maureen McGowan said...

My so-called process keeps evolving, too. It's nice (and simultaneously scary) to hear that someone more experienced has process issues, too.

The last few books I've done have been very plot oriented... I had the premise and the plot before I fully developed the characters and it was WAY different than my two women's fiction books that I'd say were more character driven...

Eileen said...

It does seem like certain books demand certain approaches. The suspense books required a lot more careful plotting than the chick lit books did and therefore more outlining. The chick lit books were way more about internal journeys and check points along the way for that and required more character work.

This one, though, is just bizarre. Let's hope it works. My fingers are certainly crossed.

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