Shotgun Groom is still on track for coming out in November, but it’ll be more around mid-November. I’ve notified my content and copy editors to get ready. The content one will look at the story as a whole and hone me in on possible errors in historical accuracy. Then I do what she marked down. After that, I hand it off to the copy editor who will go through it with a fine tooth comb for editing, grammar, and the like. Then I go over it again one more time. Since I’ve notified the two that it’s on its way (next week, it goes to the content editor), they’ve cleared their schedules. So around November 15 shouldn’t be a problem. It does without saying, I’ll slow down daily word counts when I need to do things on my end, but I hope everything will go through smoothly. *fingers, arms, legs, and eyes crossed* 😛
Well, I was writing a scene in Shotgun Groom, and while I was writing it, Owen (the deputy/hero from The Wrong Husband) made a comment that whether a criminal would read something in a local paper depended on whether or not the person was in Nebraska. Then I thought, “Uh oh. I’m writing Her Heart’s Desire which starts in 1866. Was Nebraska a state back then?” I discovered it wasn’t. And the capital at that time was Omaha. So I’ll have to take care of that when I go back to revise the first chapter when Rick, Sally and Ethel Mae talk about him leaving Vermont and going to Nebraska. Nebraska became a state on March 1, 1867. Just one year after my story starts, and they moved the capitol to Lincoln in honor of President Abraham Lincoln after his assassination.
You know, when I was in school, US history bored me to tears, but I find I’m particularly interested in the historical old west, which is probably because it involves my characters. I’m not saying I’m perfect at research, but I get better as time goes on. This is true of all areas of writing, though, whether it be research, characterization, plot, author voice, etc. They say, “Practice makes perfect.” Regardless of what you do, that idea applies. For example, we didn’t all come out of the womb walking. 😉
Anyway, I realized that during the past few days, I’ve been procrastinating in my writing. Anyone who’s been keeping track of my word goal meter under my current works in progress will see I made very little, if any, progress over the past week. I couldn’t understand it until last night when I realized I tend to stall out on writing when I’m getting to the end of a book. I figure I’m two chapters out from the end of Shotgun Groom, and while I technically know what happens, it’s hard to say good-bye to my characters. Oh, I know I’ll see them again in another book, but they won’t be the main characters and that depresses me. I have so much fun while writing, and the character interviews I write as I go along has only made things even better since it’s a visual way to see them (via the pictures I get off of www.dreamstime.com) and an informal way to discover their personalities. (It sure beats the dreadful character sketches. I hate character sketches as much as I hate outlines. They take the creative spark right out of the story. Characters and plots need to evolve as the story progresses. At least that’s how things work for me.)
So, this is the week when I have to finish Joel and April’s story. 😦 I can’t start Dave and Mary’s second story or make progress in Isaac’s Decision and Her Heart’s Desire until I do. I don’t know why that is, but I can’t move forward with anything until Shotgun Groom gets back to chugging along. I spent almost all day yesterday forcing out the 1000 words in Shotgun Groom, and now that I did that, things are easier today. There are days when it’s like pulling teeth to get words on a page, and procrastinating makes it worse. But I still do what I can to write, even if it’s way below my word count.
Why do I press through and write even when I don’t feel like it? Because writing is my job, and I take every job I’ve ever done seriously. Writing is no different. Writing the last part of Bride of Second Chances was painful for me, but to read it, would you have known that? In every story I write, there’s that low period where I have to force myself to type out words. Some I end up cutting; some I don’t. All writing, however, keeps me on track toward my goals. That’s how I managed to write and publish as many books as I have and will continue to do so.
There’s no easy way out. Sometimes, you have to buckle down and just write. Each word might be like pulling teeth, but it does get easier and in a day or a few days, the words will flow once again. Then real life kicks in or you reach a point where you’re not sure how things should go (or you don’t want to end the book), and everything slows back down. You just have to work with the cycle. Just like at any other job. You do it whether you feel like it or not. And this is why writing is work. Writers might not be doing physical labor, but it’s labor just the same. Like when you study for a test, you’re working. Well, this is the same thing.
So, in the spirit of practicing what I preach, I’m off to write, and no, I don’t feel like writing today. 😀