Sunday, September 2, 2012

Writing, Procrastination is thy middle name.

I think I have a phobia.

And like all writers, I think I have to give it a name. A title. A brand of some sort. I'm calling it "putoffititus."

You see, for the past three months I've been struggling to finish the last book in my Red Hand Conspiracy series. No, that's not true. I've been avoiding finishing the last book in this series. Oh, I open the document every week, add a thousand words, go back and read over earlier chapters. Delete this. Add that. Play with it. Massage it here and there, but work hard at it? Nah.

Both my agent and editor are asking me how soon I can have Jazzbeat of Surrender completed. I'm at 43,000 words with only 50-52,000 words to go. If I'd buckle down, I could have it done in a month, or so.

My problem? I can't stay focused on it. Oh, I'm writing. Writing every day. I'm just not working on the right project. I've written and submitted a novella. Submitted and sold two short stories. One publisher has asked for another short story set in the same historical town. And my creative mind is chomping at the bit to forge ahead on that project.

I also entered the Golden Acorn Contest and took third place in their paranormal division--and I've never written paranormal before. I mean, sometimes I think I live a paranormal existence, but write it? No. Never. At least not until I was supposed to focus on Jazzbeat.

So what the heck is wrong?

Short attention span?

Lack of discipline?

No direction?

You see, I'm coming up on something I'm not sure I can handle realistically. I have to reveal the head of this group of terrorists that have run rampant in the first two books. In short, I've painted myself into a corner. I've hinted and alluded to who the person might be, but of course the real villian is someone else. And I'm waiting for the rascal to cooperate. As if a terrorist would. Right?

Book one, Mona Lisa's Room, takes place in Paris and a small seaside community on the Normandy Coast. Release date is November 9th. The back cover blurb is in the form of an email--


You won’t believe this email. I’m sitting in a French safe house, eating caviar and drinking champagne with handsome government agent, Niko Reynard. He’s wearing nothing but silk pajama bottoms and mega doses of sex appeal. I’m in big trouble, little sister. He’s kissed me several times and given me a foot massage that nearly caused spontaneous combustion. I'm feeling strangely virginal compared to the sexual prowess this thirty-year-old man exudes. 

When I came to Paris for a bit of adventure, I never imagined I’d foil a bombing attempt, karate-kick two men, and run from terrorists while wearing a new pair of stilettos. I met a German musician, a gay poet from Australia, and the most delightful older French woman.

Don’t worry. I’m safe…the jury’s still out on yummy Niko, though. The more champagne I drink, the less reserved I feel. What an unforgettable fortieth birthday!

Book two takes place in Paris and Budapest and has no cover yet, but I can share the blurb of Rain is a Love Song.
When Gwen Morningstar and her daughter travel to Paris for the birth of her sister’s baby, both step into a quagmire of danger. Her daughter’s kidnapping and eventual rescue propel Gwen to join in the pursuit of the abductors, The Red Hand terrorist group. She’s determined to keep her daughter safe, even if it means traveling undercover to Budapest with counterterrorist agent, Jean-Luc LeFevre, a Frenchman with his own brand of justice—and danger. 
Jean-Luc’s assignment, working with Gwen, an American crime scene photographer with just enough training to get them killed, does not please him. She takes too many risks and drives him to distraction. Never mind the eye-tick she gives him every time she makes him angry. As his feelings for her grow, he’s determined to keep both Mother and daughter safe.
But can he, when the tentacles of The Red Hand are far-reaching, both abroad and in the States?
So now the time has come to put on my big girl writing pants and finish this project. No more side-trips to other storylines. What about you? Are you your own worst enemy at times?


Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

Vonnie, I feel your pain. I had a stubborn spot as well. I have this wonderful new critique partner - a guy who is absolutely magical with words. I complained about being stuck - he told me to shoot my heroine. My mouth dropped opened and I told him he was crazy. He said blood always carries a plot line on. He was right - shot the heroine, blood flowed and I cut 16,000 words. It changed my plot a wee bit, but now it is flowing like crazy. Do I have a genius helping me - you bet!

Terry Spear said...

I'm there with Silence of the Wolf. I've been asked to get the marketing materials together for it, a 2,000 word synopsis, what? And I'm like I haven't written the book yet? Plus I've restarted the beginning numerous times.

This is the 13th book in the werewolf series, so I have to make each and every one of them really different from the last. I've been working on covers, a print version of an ebook, while trying to come up with the story idea that will work. I have to turn it in by Wed. No later. So the synopsis has to be done. One way or another. Sometimes we just have to set goals, brainstorm with friends, and do it. :)

Ana Morgan said...

I've just started back to work on my timetravel. It's cooler. It's harvest time; even the weeds are getting tired. I've had some great ah-ha thoughts over the past four months. With luck, I won't re-enter the tunnel of doubt, and I'll finish it.

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Paisley, can I borrow your CP? I've already shot my hero. Gee, can I shoot my heroine, too? LOL

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Terry, thirteen books in the same series?, my. You make me feel so inadequate. I'm struggling keeping all three books from being mirror images. Thirteen? I bow to your creativity.

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Oh, the tunnel of doubt, Ana Morgan. You've phrased it so well. I'm crawling through it now.

Mona Risk said...

Vonnie, I had that problem with two books that dragged for four years. Every year, I'd try writing and it didn't go. I heard in a workshop an editor saying, "If you have trouble writing it, the reader will have trouble reading it." I realized I couldn't continue each book because in one the plot wasn't flowing well, so I changed the plot and I re-wrote it. And in the other book, the characters weren't appealing, again I changed the characters' flaws and qualities and re-wrote, and things flew.

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

No doubt you're right, Mona. After some revisions, I'm sure it'll turn out right. I hope so, anyhow. Thanks for your encouragement.

Josie said...

I'm my own worst enemy 9 times out of 10. If I write myself into a corner (yes, I'm a pantser not a plotter), I'll avoid writing that manuscript and jump to another.