So, I'm setting FAaLA aside for a bit and writing a contemporary Romance this month. M'kay bye!
What, you want more explanation that that?
Okay. Here's the sequence of events that led to this impulsive and probably ill-conceived decision:
1) After a few days of flying high on enthusiasm for FAaLA, I crashed into meh-ness. I have the set-up all clear in my mind but can't seem to get a handle on the overall plot arc. Maybe it just needs to marinate a little longer? I dunno. Also, I've been reading a TON of Sci-Fi lately to psych myself up for returning to the genre, but maybe I overdid it.
2) I've also been watching a ton of the Avatar: The Last Airbender TV show with The Son (holy crap, it's SO MUCH better than it needs to be), and following the main "bad guy's" arc from villain to antagonist to protagonist/ally has made me re-think Leopold's arc in Mender. I'm still waiting on some agent replies-- including on a partial request-- but if I don't get an offer of representation from this first batch of queries I may go in and do another 1-2 weeks of edits on Mender to sharpen that aspect of the story. I don't want to interrupt the forward momentum of another book to do that.
3) For years, I've been building a modern-day New England town in my mind and wishing I had a story to put there. For a while, I thought it would make a great TV show. Then I came up with a low fantasy premise, but it felt like I was shoe-horning the fantasy elements in there to make it fit with the rest of my "brand". And then I read the Raven Cycle and realized that my idea was a pale shadow of that series. So I have this whole town-- maps drawn, history thought through, minor characters put in place-- and nothing to do with it.
4) Ever since I read Rachel Aaron/Bach's book 2,000 to 10,000, I've been itching to push myself and see just how fast I can write a decent first draft. What holds me back is the fear of fucking it up and writing something that winds up needing tons of revision drafts. Therefore, I think the best way to experiment with this is on a project that meets the following criteria: 1) shorter than my usual novels, with a simpler plot, and 2) something I'm excited to write, yet won't be devastated to just trunk if the first draft turns out to be a hilarious mess.
5) Thursday night I had a dream, and when I woke up Friday morning I had one of those writing moments when several ideas that have been simmering in your story-pot come together on a plate, complete with sprig of parsley for garnish. The town + the story and MC from the upmarket contemporary novel I tried to write in grad school + a romantic hero I love as a character but who would never fit into a Fantasy or Sci-Fi world = 70-80K contemporary Romance, aiming more for Rainbow Rowell territory than Harlequin.
I gave myself three days to plan it-- I know-- and no more than 31 to write the first draft, starting today. I'm going to be keeping track of writing hours and word counts, and probably making a series of very boring posts reporting them all. This month is as much about data-gathering as it is about writing a book.
So that's me this month! I'm a loose cannon, baby!
(Oh, and this book has no title yet. I'm calling it M&C now, for the heroine and hero's first names.)