Wednesday, January 12, 2011

History of Creation

A little while ago, I read a couple of blog posts where the author talked about the books she didn't sell or maybe even complete, and whether or not they were on her list to revisit someday. At the end of her posts, she asked the usual "what about you?" question. I didn't comment. I was too busy going "hot damn, a blog topic!" LOL

So here are the Books I'll Never Revisit and the Books I'll go Back to At Some Point:

Since I finished my first book in 1996, I've completed 19 in total. I've sold 8 (6 contemporary romance, 2 romantic adventure) and plan to self-publish Soul of the Dragon (spy heroine, cursed dragon, evil mage) and maybe its sequel, Soulflight (flying heroine, hero spy boss of SotD heroine).

Four manuscripts are still making the rounds of publishers, and two of those are nearly exhausted. They'll wind up "under the bed," at least for a while. Two are urban fantasy, one is a young adult paranomal romantic adventure, and one is straight romantic adventure.

One book is ready to be submitted if I can write the stupid synopsis. That one's a romantic adventure with a security expert hero and a researcher heroine who is the daughter of his best friend.

My very first book (not counting the one called "My Very Own Reading Book") targeted Silhouette Special Edition and featured a schoolteacher who wanted to be a mother. Originally, she was one of three friends and they were all in one book. I got to 50,000 words and decided it would be better as three category novels instead. That first one, Papa Potential, I did go back to, but though I still like the story, the writing overall was too weak to bear the weight of a rewrite.

The original unfinished book is one of 6. I started the second book stemming off of it, but a judge in a contest said the heroine was a bitch and I never wrote more. No reason to when the first book didn't sell.

That's actually the start of a trend in my history of creation. Beyond trend, really--more of a theme:

There's the third book in the Black Tie trilogy, featuring Brian, a secondary character in the first books and the new owner of the male dance revue. There wasn't much value in finishing that one.

There are the two sequels to my urban fantasy books. One features modern-day goddesses, the other realistic superheroes (they gotta make a living!). I've actually gotten more than halfway through the goddess sequel, but I'm afraid it's not very good. I'll go back to both of those, I hope.

I also have about 100 pages of the third book in the Soul series. It has the brother of the heroine from Soul of the Dragon and a new heroine whose paranormal ability I can't remember. Whether or not I continue that one depends on how the first book(s) do(es). :) I have at least one or two more ideas for that series.

I also have two sequels to my Logan McKnight short story series that I've never finished. Every so often I look at them and consider completing them, but the series is now out of print, so... Hey, maybe I'll finish them off, giving Logan his happy ending, and sell them as a digital collection.

And finally, I have three partials (three chapters and a synopsis) that I abandoned. One was targeting Superomance, a straight contemporary, and I was writing it when my mother died. Chalk it up to catharsis: the heroine's mother had just died, and they'd had a very rough relationship. The title of the book is The One that Got Away and was a twist on an old romance trope, reunions with old lovers or crushes. In my book, the one who got away and comes back ISN'T the one the heroine winds up with. But I'm not writing straight contemporary romance targeting Harlequin anymore, so I'll probably never finish that one.

When Silhouette Bombshell was first announced, I submitted Soul of the Dragon. That was a very exciting time. :) The editor read my submission over Thanksgiving weekend and called my agent to say she'd passed it on for consideration for Luna and asked if I'd submit something else to Bombshell. The editor for Luna liked it enough to hold on to for a paranormal line that never came to fruition, so my agent recommended I try an epic fantasy for Luna. That resulted in the partial for Kylara's Destiny. I don't think I ever got a formal response on that one, just a verbal rejection when I met the editor at a conference. I was surprised how much I liked the story I created, but epic fantasy isn't really my thing (the editor said she liked SotD better, so that reinforces my instincts), so I don't think I'll be going back to that one, either.

Bombshell endured a lot of turmoil in its short life. The original editor left to be a writer. The new editor asked my agent to have me call her to discuss a book I'd submitted. Basically, she wanted to trash it to me in person, on my long distance dime. I guess she thought she was being encouraging, but there wasn't really anything she liked about my story. I pitched another idea to her, and she liked it, but kind of took off with the idea. I tried very hard to write it the way she wanted it, but keeping some of my own elements. Then SHE left to be a writer, and I got two form letter rejections for Deceptive Medicine. The heroine is a family doctor who turns to her ex-husband for help when she thinks the practice's other doctor is doing something hinky, and using her niece in the process. I modeled the ex-husband after Dominic Monaghan, and a friend said "you're such a freak." :) This one I might one day go back to, but revising it back to my original idea, including the paranormal element I wanted, and more adventure than suspense (where adventure=excitement and suspense=fear).

I just added a new unfinished story to the list, my post-apocalyptic novella. It was going nowhere. I knew what I wanted to happen, but when my heroine started sightseeing, for cripe's sake, I knew I wasn't going to get there. I have a kind of curiosity about the story, but not a burning desire to write it.

So, how about you? :) Writers, how many stories have you abandoned, and how many do you expect to go back to?

Readers, what are some stories/series/characters that you wish your favorite authors would return to?


Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Wow, I have no less than six sitting around. I'm going back to two of them for sure but I'm not sure about the other two.

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

And what about the third two? LOL

Cindy Procter-King said...

I have a book I WANT to revise and submit, but now I've agreed to another project. But it's a fun project, so what the heck. The book that needs revision will still be there when I finish the new project...which I can't start until I finish a project for my pen name.

I have some "begun" projects for both names that were dropped for various reasons. I'd like to finish them all! And I think they're all worthy. Problem is, what do you do with the new ideas when the old ones want to play? I can't stand the thought of leaving a book under the bed when I know I can find it a home. But I'm too much of a Capricorn, despite that I'm apparently now a Saggitarius, to submit an older project without giving it a rehaul.

Cindy Procter-King said...

Oh, when I say they're all worthy, I'm not counting the first two books I wrote. Esp. the very first. The second I actually rewrote into Head Over Heels.

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

Problem is, what do you do with the new ideas when the old ones want to play?

I know! Especially when new ideas don't stop coming. I used to be afraid they would...