Blog by VONNIE DAVIS -- International, Award-Winning Romance Author: Adventurous...Humorous...Amorous.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


I've been working on Mona Lisa's Room like a madwoman.

I'd started this project in mid-December as a short story.

By January, I knew it would be a novel.

In February, the novel mentally morphed into the first of a trilogy.

I will either name the series "Paris Passions Trilogy" or "The Red Hand Trilogy." Since the same protagonists -- the same terrorist ring known as Red Hand -- battle with my characters throughout all three proposed books, I thought that might be a good name for the trilogy. At least until an editor (Please God, let there be an editor who loves these stories!!) decides on a better name.

Since mid-December, I've written 76,000 words, not to mention the fits-and-starts that have long since been deleted. My mind is focused on this story as if it were wearing blinders. Very little else exists. I have to force myself to contact family and friends...and I feel badly about that. But my Muse is a strict task-master.

Thank goodness my husband accepts that my life literally revolves around this story, just like it did for several months with Storm's Interlude. I wake around 8:30 and start writing about an hour later.

Coffee cup in hand, I review what I wrote the day before (roughly 2,000 words) and layer in more emotion and internal dialog. I correct things that niggled at my mind during the night. I write the first few paragraphs just to mentally step into the story again. After making the bed and putzing around the house for an hour or so, all the while planning what I want to happen next, I sit in front of the laptop again, fingers poised, ready to move the story forward. I typically write off-and-on until one in the morning.

My fingertips are propelling me to the end where secrets are revealed and enemies exposed; enemies my characters never suspected. Pantser that I am, I've written toward this vague event, not quite sure what I want to happen. Now the fear sets in. What if I can't make the "big reveal" suspenceful enough? Realistic enough? Spell-binding enough?

What if I can't set this up? My heart pounds with that fearful idea. Self-doubt chokes my thought processes. I remind myself I have roughly 14,000 remaining words to play with. Sounds easy enough, doesn't it? I have time to move characters into place and make these events happen--whatever they are. Certainly my Muse and I can do it. Right?

Wait, Muse! What are you doing? Where are you going with that suitcase? Wha...what do you mean you've got vacation time coming? You'll be in touch? When? How? You'll twitter me? will you help me finish this book in 140 characters or less? Oh all right, then. Go! I hear Charlie Sheen is out of work, I'll get him to help. Heaven knows he hasn't stepped into reality in years.


Joanne Stewart said...

Hey Vonnie! You're definitely not Aline there. Every book I write I go through those doubts. This last one I finished, I wrote it in fits and starts, scenes completely non-linear. Then got to about chapter eight and had no idea where I was going. So I set it aside, to let it stew. Took two weeks before my muse came back. Which, honestly, scares the crap out of mEe. About seven years ago, I hit a bout of depression that sent my muse on a six year long vacation. Couldn't write to save my life, the creativity just dried up. It doesn't help nowadays that my first book is getting no reviews. But...every day I sit down and manage to write something, I consider that a good day, even if its crap. The doubt days when my muse runs off, I take a vacation too and read. So far, knock on wood and cross my fingers, it's working.

Foe whatever that's worth. You're definitely not alone. Good luck with the series!!

Vonnie Davis said...

Thanks Joanne...I do the same thing, too, when I hit a wall. I read a book in a different genre to rest my romantic mind. As for your book reviews, often they come long after publication. Let's hope yours come soon. I know that can be discouraging. Best of luck to you. Write on!!

Joanne Stewart said...

Ugh. Forgive my typos. Forgot to proof read. Thanks, Vonnie. To you as well.

Rhiannon Ellis said...

76K since December?! Holy moly, that Muse of yours has been working overtime. Is she union? hehe It'll all come together naturally. Don't push yourself, pretty lady. And cut yourself some slack. Maybe take a few days to snack and watch romantic comedies. oxox

Vonnie Davis said...

Thanks, Rhiannon. You're a dear, as always. Can't wait until "Bonded in Brazil" comes out!!

Charmaine said...

I like the breezy folksiness in this post. As I was reading, I was nodding my head, I am a pantser, too. I guess in reality, we want to be just as surprised as the reader and that's why we write that way. But as you, Vonnie, keep writing and thinking, the brilliance of your reveal will even astonish you. But you know that already! Happy writing!