Horray for the 1st September! August is always my panic month. As usual I'm approaching the half way point of the latest book in a state of chaos and confusion. At least one Loveday has presented me with a new and fascinating dilemma that was not previously in the plot. It's too exciting to ignore and a complete headache to resolve. Chaos reigns to find a resolution.
After ten books in the series published, the family is rather extended now and I know from readers' letters and emails how many of the characters are their favourites and I dare not leave them out. But there is only so much I can fit into 120,000-130,000 words. If I put a charismatic character on the back burner in the WIP I could disappoint readers (not recommended to keep the books popular). If there is no other option but to kill off a family member I shall be putting myself through torment and anguish as well as my fictional family.
Exciting conflict throws characters into fraught situations that I would not want to put my own nearest and dearest through, and I am a mother hen to this wonderful family I created.
How can you put that character through such emotional turmoil? Is another cry from readers. Do they think I need the extra angst? I do it simply because all writers know that a page turning novel has to be full of conflict and emotional drama.
Then there's a new romance which in books never runs smoothly. Misunderstandings and heartbreak rule my day until the magic wand can be waved for love to conquer all. So there is no way my Loveday family can have a cosy co-existence where everything is happy in their world.
I live by the south coast and whilst trying to remain calm amongst each novel crisis; August brings the invasion of visitors, grandchildren needing supervision while parents are at work, heatwaves when the brain becomes glue (fortunately not too many of them this year), and the inevitable gas, electric or roadworkers digging up the road outside your window. Not forgetting research trips cluttered with tourists spoiling the view or babbling away and destroying that desperately sought quiet moment needed to find inspiration.
Would I change the trials and tribulations of August, or indeed any month of writing. Definitely not. The moments of panic pass. Somehow my deep subconscious sorts out a plot problem. (why is that always at 3am?). Somehow the words find their way on to the page so that my next deadline will be met on time.
I would not miss a moment of it for the world.
Happy writing. Happy reading and God bless September.
Lovely post - I'm doing something wrong, I think - I'm alway starting a new book at this time of year!
Jane, I usually start about mid February but that means I have a beginning of January delivery date. December is another distracting time when you are trying to keep all the threads of the plot in your head to make sure the final read through is as good as it can get. That rules out the xmas plonk and Alan Rickman's immortal words "Christmas is cancelled" gets yelled a lot. I know we women are good at multi-tasking but there is a limit. Xmas without plonk simply can't be done.
I heartily agree - and now I know why it takes me so long to write a book!
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