Blogs by Pamela C Labud
The awakening muse...
7/11/2005 2:20:35 AM
Some early morning musings after working too much and sleeping too little...
I wasn't going to do it.
I wasn't going to start my next book yet.
A week ago last Thursday I put the words 'the end' on the last page of my current manuscript and then scrambled to get two copies (after the holiday weekend) to my agent and editor. All in all I was proud of myself. Though it had taken longer than I'd thought it would and was way later than I'd intended, the book 'If You Could Read My Mind' is finished. At least for now. Of course the completeness of it totally depends on what my editor has to say when she reads the story. If she hates it, it's back to the drawing board.
That book being 'in the can' so to speak, I was ready to settle back for a few weeks of much needed rest. No writing deadlines, no responsibilities save for my job, kids, husband, and housework. For a little while I was going to be normal.
I would rest and recouperate. I would come back to my writings after the national conference at the end of the month renewed and rejuvinated. I would be fired up and ready to go.
Except that the very next day, my muse, hateful conniving witch that she can be, had other ideas.
I started getting an idea about a character from my first book, Ethan Halverson. A nice guy, he spent most of the story in a coma and terribly debilitated. I liked Ethan and thought he might have had potential for my next book. In fact, when I pitched my second book the my editor, I thought I had a pretty good story in mind. I would give him his own glorius ghost girlfriend and it would all fall in place.
Ethan, however, had other things in mind. In short, he wasn't satisfied with my ten attempts to find the right story for him. Nope. He wanted his own adventure, his own story, and his own way. In short, I had nothing for him.
The hero of my first book, William Markham, was larger than life, full of himself, and the perfect, flawed, flirtatious, and fun hero.
Ethan was none of those. He is, of course, a proper Regency gentleman in every respect. He is flawed, but his flaws are more physcial than emotional, and though he holds on to a heavy guilt for the events in the first book, it wasn't enough to carry a second story. He came out sounding whiny and annoying.
I decided to put him away and work on another book altogether to give us both a little space.
Ethan was patient. He waited until the perfect time to hit me. When I was exhausted and my resistance was at its lowest, he struck.
Wheedling his way into a story I'd been wanting to attempt for awhile, he totally took me by surprise. I tried to reason with him. "This story's not for you. I promise to write you a safe little ghost story with a lovely, perfect little heroine," I told him.
Ethan simply crossed his arms and stamped his foot. He stared at me with his perfectly molten silver eyes, his light brown hair and attractive square jaw.
"I don't want that story. I want this one."
"But-but-but it's never been done? You're asking me to mix two subgenres! You want me to do something that has never been attempted? Besides, this heroine is too much for you. She's going to kick your butt."
"In other words, she's perfect."
"It's a huge gamble. Too dangerous, if you ask me."
"Exactly," he said smugly. "I want you to risk it all."
"And if I fail, we are both screwed."
"I have faith in you," he said. "Just give me a chance. It's still early. If it doesn't work out, you can pitch the story into oblivion with my other ones. I'm okay with that."
"It's a big chance. You may not get another."
He leaned forward and narrowed his eyes. "I'm willing to risk it. Are you?"
"I don't know," I said slowly.
Of course I was.
I thought a moment. What did I stand to lose? I mean, no one needs to know if the story is crap. I can just write it and never show it to another living soul. Yeah, right.
"I'll give it a shot. If I don't like it, I'm pitching it.
"Fair enough," he said. Smiling at me with a mischevious smile. A little twinkle sparkled in his left eye. Immediately I sensed I was in for big trouble.
When I sat down to write. An an amazing thing happened.
Ethan Halverson not only shines in this story, he explodes. He becomes more than your run-of-the-mill hero. He takes his Regeny manners and arrogance and grows into an amazing hero. I fell in love with him all over again and I'm hoping you will, too.
Ah, muse you are a bewitching soul, bent on torturing this poor simple writer until she can no longer make her arthritic fingers manipulate the computer keyboard. But I like you fine.
Happy reading! Pam.
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