Ideas for new novels seem to fall into my mind at the worst moments. In the middle of a meeting or phone call, falling asleep, watching television with my husband. He doesn’t love it when I suddenly stop paying attention to our murder mystery show and begin typing.
But I’m now in that swampy creative place with too many ideas and an inability to decide to pursue one or the other. They bubble around in my head every day, refusing to gel into a cohesive story arc, but bringing lots of new characters and ones migrating from previous books. I should make a plot outline for at least one, but I’m indecisive. The writing life is full of such swamps, and the best path forward, I’ve learned, is not to force anything. But it’s frustrating.
The Timegathering series
I’m working on a time travel series, so I’m bouncing around from the 1600s century to the 1300s to the 2200s — a monastery, a genetics laboratory, a forest on Provence, a busy Italian Renaissance city. My current work-in-progress, Timegathered, takes a young man with a genetic gift for folding time through love and adventure in past and future centuries. George St. James finds his destiny is helping other young timegatherers and thwarting a secret society trying to sculpt the human genome.
The problem with having so many ideas is that it’s difficult to envision the future. Writing during a pandemic means facing all kinds of change: changes in publishing, in what it means to write a contemporary story, in the economy and jobs, and personal changes for me, such as semi-retirement.
The future is a big part of my series, and yet inventing it involves having some kind of a crystal ball about where we’ll be when we come out of this pandemic.
What I do have is a collection of titles. I polled my readers and one of the titles I plan to use for an upcoming book in this series is Undoing Time.The winner in my poll and the title that will replace my working title Timegathered:
The Time Gatherer
Now I’m having more fun gathering ideas for the cover art than organizing plot outlines for stories beyond this one. I seem to be in a mode of a creative restlessness. But soon, I’ll be setting aside story ideas to cook on the back burner of my subconscious, in order to do a final revision on this book, which I hope will be out in the fall from my own imprint, Time Fold Books.
Happy reading and writing!