What To Think About When You’re Not Thinking About It

Okay, so the NTAI ain’t going so well. Ridiculous since it’s only been five weeks since I submitted the thing but there you go. So, what does one do when one is trying to Not Think About It?
I usually write. I write like the dickens. There is something about totally losing yourself in a new story and when I do, I forget all about my sub and everything else (including the little things like feeding the kids and making sure they haven’t killed each other).

This is not a problem but I have been thinking about whether I should branch out and try something else. Try writing for a different category. That way I can have more subs out there (and true, more to NTAI!). There are downsides to this, mainly if you do get something accepted, the eds will want to establish you in one line rather than have your name associated with a couple and perhaps getting readers confused. Also, the requirements for the different lines are quite different and it’s as well to concentrate on mastering one line first.

However, my problem is that I write really fast. If everything is worked out beforehand, I can write a first draft in two weeks. This is a good thing because while waiting, I can churn out a couple of mss to have at the ready in case of rejection. However, if I’ve done that and it turns out I have six month wait before hearing back, maybe I should be using the time to try writing and querying something else?

I’m still undecided. Modern Heat is where I want to be first and foremost, and my main focus is on that. But it would be nice to be waiting on more than one sub…

Whaddya reckon?

25 thoughts on “What To Think About When You’re Not Thinking About It”

  1. Wow Jackie – a first draft in two weeks! that’s amazing. I’ve been stuck on 8k since the deadline for the submission to competition! Lol.
    Have you thought of maybe writing a single title longer piece? that would occupy you for longer perhaps?

  2. My two cents (FWIW) – I think you SHOULD try another line while you wait. You’ve got so many books for MH already that I think it’d help you to try something different, challenge you.

    A published writers once told me (and I won’t say her name cos they’re her words) and she says it to lots – Have your eggs in more than one basket!!! If I had the time/energy/willpower to write as much as you do, that’s certainly what I’d be doing!


  3. I second what Kerrin and Rach have said – I reckon you’d rock at a ST or another line. You know I was toying with the idea of another line whilst waiting for HN, but so understand what you mean about MH -its where I feel the most comfortable too. But hey – a change of scenery could do no harm.

  4. Kerrin – a VERY rough first draft it has to be said. Yeah single title could do it. Just what kind of single title…

    Rach – I’m toying with another idea for another line. Will have to see though.

    Janette – a change is as good as a rest eh?

  5. I’m in awe. A full in two weeks? How do you do it! In any case, I know what you mean about wanting to branch out and why not give it a try? Maybe you’ll find another genre you’re excellent at…and isn’t that what pen names are for anyway? 😉

  6. I think you should slow down. Really get to know your characters and their conflicts. Know their character arcs, emotional wounds, personal yearnings/needs. Take apart an unsubmitted ms and see if it can be improved. You are aware of what the editor said to work on.
    It is not a race. It is about producing an excellent manuscript that sells.
    Once you are there, then you can speed up again.
    You can try another line entirely — I would change editorial offices for this. Or you can try single title. But the above applys to both of them as well.
    And really writing for two lines/different publishers can cause its own set of problems.
    YOU do need to write where your heart is.

  7. Hetal – a full is 50k so not all that long. And it’s doing all the character/conflict/plot stuff beforehand. Yeah, might toy with some ideas I’ve got. Can’t hurt.

    Michelle – Lol! Yes, I know, that’s me and my impatience for you. And it’s true, the full in 2 weeks was a Nano job. I don’t normally write that fast. And I do tend to spend a long time editing. Actually, funny you should say that about an unsubmitted ms – that’s what I’m doing right now and can immediately see what the problems are. I knew that before but the difference now is that I can fix it. At least, I think I’ve fixed it. Certainly the characters now have proper backstories and pasts and conflicts that are believable.
    Anyway, yes, I agree re a different office. I have been thinking about a Blaze but it might be something I play around with at the moment when I need a break. MH is where my heart is and that’s what I’m really serious about.

  8. Well, Jackie, you know the Robyn Grady story. 🙂 Since I’m fast like you I was seriously about to sub an MS of mine to Desire, because my wait had gotten so long. But I got The Call right before I was going to sub it. So, I think you’re onto something. When the waits are months long, I think it’s nice to do that.

    Or you can be like me…I racked up 13 Presents MSs during my wait.

  9. Maisey – maybe I should get something ready for another line so that just before I’m about to sub it… 😉 I’d have to be asked for a full first though! 13!! Wow, that’s amazing! I’ll see what I can do. 😉

  10. Jackie, I think you should try something for another line. I write in 2 different genres, romance and mystery, and currently have 1 rom with wild rose, 1 partial in to modern heat, and 1 mystery being read by an agent. To calm me down when NTAI I’m writing a historical undone (for fun) and have also written another mystery and a half. I’m going to polish the mystery next and submit, and am brewing another rom, which I think is going to be romance rather than modern heat, I just don’t seem to be able to crack the millionaire thing, too quirky. Also, because I now have a short romance story published (cheque and copies a couple of days ago) and an encouraging email on a second, I’m finishing a third romance ss to submit to New Love Stories Magazine. I’ve been waiting on Richmond since 1st July, and worry that they won’t like it, but submitting elsewhere gives me hope that somewhere, someone might love something!
    (I hope so!)

  11. I’m chiming in late but I think you should look at another line… or maybe you and Maisy could try to out do each other with banked up manuscripts…?

  12. Jackie, there are other authors who write for more than one line so it’s not impossible. Kate Hardy writes for Modern and Medical, as does Carol Marinelli who covers Medical and Romance. Why not? Recently read a few from the American Romance line which were quite interesting, of what about Blaze? If you can write that quickly why not? It takes me around 2-3 months to produce a first draft so go for it girl!

  13. 2 weeks to do a 1st draft! Blimey! But I am as confused as you are! What to do next?! Agghh. Hey. Wait a minute! I’ve got it. You could finish my ms – I do HM&B Historicals. It will give you a taster of writing for a different line – and then Viola – you can give it back to me when it’s finished. I can sub it in my name and if it gets published all well and good! Great idea – waddya think? Only joking of course – I just didn’t have an answer for you. But I do echo the other’s have a go at a single title. All writing is good writing – IMHO. Caroline x

  14. Hey, Jackie,

    Since I am the troublemaker who made the suggestion in the first place, I felt I should comment.

    I agree you should continue to dig deeper and get to know your characters and reevaluate your manuscripts. But, there is alot to learn from writing something different.

    I write WF and short contemporary and working on both has allowed me to learn more than I could have expected. My WF writing is tighter and carries more emotion because of my journey into short contemporary. Writing women’s fiction has actually helped me with my character arcs in short contemporary.

    Now, granted, I am not published, but that is because of my own personal fear to just submit. I know my flaws and I am working on them.

    You have to do what’s right for you.

    I have one more thing I want to add that I read on another post at the Romance Bandits:

    “How do you juggle writing two different types of projects that appear on shelves so close together?

    A dear author friend Merline Lovelace once told me that writing different subgenres can really help keep the writing fresh and fun. I totally agree! I also feel the two subgenres help strengthen each other – my Silhouette Desires help me hone the romance elements and the romantic suspense help me pump up that page turning edge even when nobody’s shooting!”

    Source: http://romancebandits.blogspot.com/2010/01/from-booming-jets-to-bossmans-baby.html

    This is Catherine Mann answering a question about writing for two different lines.

    Now, granted, Catherine Mann may have started this after she was published, but, IMHO, the publishing world is changing. The way we play the game as writers is going to have to change as well.

    Anyway, that’s my 2 cents worth, but it’s more like 50 cents.

    Bottom line: You WILL get to wherever you want to be.


  15. Sally – you’ve got a lot of irons in the fire haven’t you? And that sounds like a good thing to me, especially if you’re waiting on the 1st of July! Hmmm, maybe I should think about it more.

    Lacey – Lol! Maisey and I could have a ‘who can write the most’ competition. 😉

    Susan – definitely thinking about my Blaze idea. If nothing else to give me a break.

    Caroline – I like your idea! Only problem is that I probably know next to nothing about your time period. They’ll probably end up wearing digital watches while watching the gladiators fight or something dumb like that. 😉

    Abbi – thanks for the great advice. Yes, I haven’t written anything other than MH since I started subbing seriously two years ago. Maybe it’s time to do something different, to stop myself becoming stale. Certainly writing MH has been great for the craft aspects of my writing so maybe I could put that to good use elsewhere. Food for thought.

  16. LOL Lacey! Now I need to get my store of MSs whipped into shape! Some of them are getting kind of old, and I’ve learned lots since writing them!

  17. It can’t hurt to write something for a completely different genre or style in between waiting for verdicts on subs. I find that I have to have something different on the go otherwise I get bored and lose the will to continue with what I’m writing!!

    Hope the sub your waiting for a answer on goes well.

    Julie xx

  18. Personally, I think it would be refreshing to write something else while you’re waiting. Either Desire or Blaze. No writing is wasted, so if you send one off while you’re waiting for a MH sub I think that would be *a very good thing*.

    As the other commenters have said, there are several authors who write for two lines. You write quick, so there’s no reason why you couldn’t. I also think two lines will keep your ideas and writing fresh.

    Just my opinion 🙂

  19. I like external conflict. I think that is why i am struggling with writing for modern M&B. I love the richness and fullness of a single title! But i am going to stick with what i have started and try to finish it.
    As one of the other commenters said, writing is never wasted, it is all a learning curve 🙂

  20. Jackie, I’ve recently gone through the same thought process. Taking into account the long waits for some of the major publishing houses I did something completely different – I wrote a novella and submitted it to a (reputable) epublisher. This is not what I thought I would do. The novella was great because it was fast (completed in under 2 weeks) and the wait time at these places is less. Plus, I figure there was a huge learning experience to get a story down in so few words. I’m thinking now in the back of my mind I could build some publishing experience (invaluable) and a reader base (somewhat, who knows) while I wait on the Blaze line.

  21. A first draft in TWO WEEKS??????

    Yikes. I’m seriously impressed. I can barely write a short story in two weeks.

    I think you should try something else – as you say the more subs you have out there… And as you write so fast it would be a shame not to make the most of that gift.


  22. Kerrin – yeah, that’s the difficulty with Modern eh? The external conflict can’t be too much. Great going re sticking with it to finish it. Finishing a book is great practice.

    Kaily – go you on the novella! That’s an option eh? Not sure how I’d do with writing short. Can’t write short stories to save my life. But it’s worth thinking about…

    Suzanne – thanks! Again, that two weeks produces a VERY rough draft. But yeah, something else is a good idea. Still thinking on it. 😉

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