Usually when that happens, I get a new idea. For a long time now, like clockwork, when the old book ends, the new one appears. It’s like the Girls were thinking about it while I was concentrating on other things, and when I’m ready, they send up the next demand, er, suggestion. The transition is flawless. The second I type “The End,” I can type “Chapter One.”
Not this time.
This time, I the Girls are on vacation, asleep, or, heaven forbid, dead.
I’ve got nothing.
There are ideas I could pursue, extensions of ideas I’ve already worked on. For example:
- I have a two-book FBI suspense “series,” written under a pseudonym, for which I’d like to get new covers that display my own name. But it’s a grim storyline, written in happier times (although when I wrote book one, I sobbed the whole way through). I’m not sure I could go grim right now. And I don’t know how I’d start it. Not knowing how to start is new for me, too. But if I wrote a third book, I know what would be in it, so I wouldn’t have to scramble for a plot.
- I have three related books still under the bed, one of which is a stinker, one of which could be salvaged, and one of which is okay. These three feature Venus and Mars, gods from the Roman pantheon who come to earth to help mortals find their true love. These are “comedies,” although the stinker is just pathetic. But I could revise the salvageable one and maybe develop a new idea for a third. These books are light, light, light. They’re the first books I wrote, and I’ve learned a lot since then, so I could probably make this work.
- I wrote a space opera. I like all the characters. It seems made for episodic development. I wouldn’t mind exploring that world. But I have no ideas for it.
- And if I were truly desperate (which you know I am), I have a novella about a bookseller in a small town. I could, possibly, develop stories around events that happen in her bookstore. It’s not a bad setup, but I have no ideas for it.
I’m adrift without something to work on. I know I’ve asked you guys before, but now I’m dead serious: what do you think? Pursue one of these ideas? Or go with something fresh? And if it’s going with something fresh, what is that idea? And if it’s pursuing one of these, which one would you like to see more of?