By Glenys O'Connell @GlenysOConnell
It might sound obvious, but readers and writers have a lot in common.For example, if you’re like me, going into a real bricks and mortar bookstore is like the proverbial kid and the candy store. Ditto for browsing Amazon, B & N, etc. So many books, so little time.
You start out with a plan to buy maybe one, or two….and suddenly, your basket is full of tasty delights. You get a sweet little flavour boost by reading the back cover blurbs, your taste buds sing the Hallelujah chorus as you dip through the pages at random.
Then reality hits. You can only read and really savor one book at a time (at least, I can). Your To Be Read pile already competes with Mt. St. Helens – and may also be ready to erupt all over your bedroom floor. Your book budget (if you actually had one) is already shot. Your friends, neighbours, significant other, are all going to roll their eyes when they see you sneaking in the back door with your books. True addicts actually change from the bookstore bag to a grocery bag in an attempt to hide their addiction. On your credit card statement, you have the bookstore’s bills hidden under the ‘household’ or ‘car maintenance’ tags.You realise you can’t take all the books in your basket. But having to choose is likely to send you into Post Traumatic Shock. Eventually, you choose one or two books and, tears in your eyes, you put the rest back on the shelves, whispering a sad farewell and promising to come back soon.
For writers, the scenario is the same, but we’re dealing with embryo books – ideas that have snuck into our consciousness and refuse to go away. Most of us have a file marked ‘Book Ideas’. It’s really the only way to silence the clamor for a few weeks while we finish the book we’re working on. But writing The End on one manuscript is like opening the floodgates – all those half-baked, half-formed ideas in Book Ideas now scream for attention. Write me! Write Me!Which to Choose? Which to Choose?
Often I will start out on one idea, only to realise my Muse, or subconscious mind, needs more time to work on it, then I have to close that file and look for another candidate. Many of the book ideas consist only of a paragraph or two, a signpost towards greater creative effort. Some are several pages, others just a couple of links to news stories or bits of research I've discovered on the web which seem to be crying out for a novel plot. Some will never make it as viable books alone – but joined in matrimony with another book idea, suddenly there’s hope of a long and happy relationship.The biggest problem of all, rather like deciding which books to take to the checkout and which to leave behind, is keeping all those other ideas in line while you concentrate on the work-in-progress. My personal scheme is to accept that every now and again I’ll think of a scene, a dialogue line, or see an article, hear a bit of gossip, that will fit one of those story ideas. I open the file, type in the info, maybe add a bit, then firmly close the file before falling into the trap of starting to actually write the book.
Otherwise, I’d have a hundred works-in-progress – none of them ever finished.
So, I’d love to hear how other readers and writers choose which books to buy, which books to write!
There’s a copy of my very first novel, Judgement By Fire, waiting for one lucky commenter.
A print copy of Winters & Somers, my Irish romantic comedy/suspense: Lisa RaynsLisa, please email me at glenysoconnell at msn. com with your email addy and home address for the print. Thanks for taking part!
Glenys O’Connell is busy with edits for her upcoming release: Saving Maggie, a romantic suspense with paranormal elements, just contracted by Crimson Romance! You can keep up with her news & articles at www.glenysoconnell.com