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? How...how 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.