Sunday, July 01, 2012

Don't panic!

Sorry for the scary title. But writing is a scary business.

An aspiring author once said she envied me because, as a multi-published author, I didn’t have to be afraid when I started a book. Afraid that I’d fail. Afraid that the ideas would desert me.

I disabused her of that notion. Although writing may be rewarding, even exhilarating, it’s also daunting and dangerous in its way.

Take the book I just started writing for Harlequin American, the eleventh in my Safe Harbor Medical miniseries. I’d set up an appealing hero and heroine, an interesting plotline and good conflict. What could go wrong? 

Well, as I began the second chapter, I sat staring at my computer thinking, This is too predictable.

Despite all the interesting elements, it was clear how the story would develop, where the conflicts and discoveries would come, and how the couple would resolve them.

If I’m already bored, the reader will be too. Never mind those idiots who don’t read romance novels but go around proclaiming that our books are all alike. They aren’t. Certainly not the good ones, and that’s what I try to write.

So I typed a note to myself: Make something unexpected happen.

And, after I played around with ideas and reevaluated my characters, it did. Nothing earth shattering or genre bending, I assure you (and my editor, who may be reading this). No aliens will land atop Safe Harbor Medical Center and no miracle-producing babies will be born in the maternity ward. I just found a twist to keep things interesting and produce additional tension and uncertainty for my characters.

I’m sure I’ll experience a few more scary moments before I finish the book, times when I'll wonder if I can pull it off and if these people really will fall in love in a dramatic, sparkling fashion. But that’s why, even after selling 93 novels, I never get tired of writing them.

Thanks for reading!
The M.D.’s Secret Daughter (Sept. 2012)


Laura Drake said...

Oh Jackie - I thought I was the only one, worried that the well of ideas would dry up. Doesn't seem to matter that I've never had to reach for an idea - they just came to me.

I always think the next one won't!
Thanks for making me feel better.

linda s said...

Sounds like you have another wonderful book planned. Look forward to it.

Tammy Yenalavitch said...

Looks like you are writing another great book. Writing may be scary, but your end result pays off.

Jacqueline Diamond said...

Thanks to all of you for your comments!

I love being able to share the craft
and process of writing with my fellow artisans!

Amanda Renée said...

I am also relieved to hear I'm not the only one either. I recently wrote a note to myself: "Make your characters uncomfortable". I have a tendency to write too "nice". Sometimes they need to take a step out of their realm. Thanks for sharing your wisdom. Can't wait to read your next release.

Shannon Donnelly said...

Writing is the same as dancing naked on a table -- you need abandon, nerve, and a certain amount of willingness to expose yourself. And after you get up on the table, you can have some fun. But that next table always looks so high....

mokzjm said...

hello Ms. Jacque!,

I'm jovelyn mocoy from cebu, phils. I just finished reading your novel : "The Would-Be Mommy", and I really love it! I actually goggled your name and found your twitter there,followed you and pop! I found this blog! :-)I'm into blogging also, and hope to write a novel on my own in time. But I guess I'm no good at it.I can start a few chapter but I find it hard to finish it. I actually tried to write one and I posted in my blogsite ( didn't finish it :(
Anyways,I wish to find another books of you soon. :-)I would love to read - The Mommy Contract- hope it's still available in Booksale - a local bookstore here where I got my copy of your The Would-Be Mommy.

God Bless!!!:-)