Books are Like Babies

Welcome friends. Casey here.

MysticStorm2_850First off, can you believe it’s already August? Where has the summer gone? There’s something about this time of year (and around Thanksgiving) where I feel like I’m on time’s roller coaster ride.

One minute it’s May and then suddenly August is here and I feel like the whole summer has flown by. I suspect the school calendar plays a part in this phenomenon because younger son would always start whining about having to go back to school (the infamous countdown would begin).

Well, not this year. Steady readers of this blog, may recall he graduated in June (my baby, my baby!). This year he and his older brother will be attending college together. So while they are still going to school, there is no complaining involved (well, except for the ridiculous cost of college texts).

All this thinking about time, combined with the recent birth of the royal baby (HRH Prince George) got me to thinking about how books are born in my brain. While pursuing two books at once (Mystic Hero is pulling to the lead, so by the time you read this, it might be the only book I’m writing), I’ve noticed that the story is often born while I’m writing it.

What?!? But what about all that talk of plotting and planning?

Oh, those things still happen. But like any story, I leave room for new ideas to hatch. I also rely on the characters to dictate how they react to the barriers I toss out. There is no way I can script every waking moment of the story. I decide on the big events and letUndeadSpaceInitiative_200 the rest fill itself in.

So like a baby, sometimes a book can take forever (Mystic Storm – almost ten months) and others are done in less time (Misfortune Cookie – two months). The Undead Space Initiative poured out of my brain like there was a big hole in it and I could barely keep up!  (Note: this is writing time. Not the time it took for me to plot and plan.)

And like babies, nature can’t be rushed. Some characters, like Zephyr, in Mystic Storm, gave me nothing but trouble. I think it may be because of the whole “cursed to be a woman by day” thing (which I am not apologizing for!).

Not to be too graphic, but any woman who has gone through labor knows that babies don’t just come out in one easy push. And neither does my writing. I can have a week of super productivity and then another week where I have to flog myself to sit down and write. However, I will add a caveat. I did have younger son in my bathroom (in under a half hour of going into labor). He was apparently so eager to enter the world, he couldn’t wait!

Just goes to show –  you never know!!

Has anyone else had this experience? Do you have some books that just take forever to come out of your head?

Me and my baby!
Me and my baby!
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8 thoughts on “Books are Like Babies”

  1. I can totally relate, Casey. I wrote the first draft of Savage Cinderella in six weeks! I attribute that to the fact that I was sick for ten days and could do nothing but stay in bed and write (it was the worst of times…it was the best of times) ohhh, sounds like a familiar first line…but I digress. I wrote half the book in those ten days and it exploded out of me. I wondered if I’d had a psychotic break, a concern compounded by the issue of writing from a serial killer’s POV, LOL.

    My contemporary YA books seem to come much easier than the dystopian. Writing a trilogy is a lot more complicated, and creating a futuristic world was a new challenge for me, for sure. Waning Moon took eight months and Western Desert took nine. I definitely equate writing a book to carrying and birthing a baby and often told myself “if you can create an actual human being in nine months, you sure as hell can write a book in that amount of time.” it helped me forge on and get words on the page when all the marketing of my other books was taking me away from the creative process.

    Being published and having to “run a business” has definitely slowed down my productivity, but I’m very happy to say that since I got back from Nationals, I’ve written about 7,000 words on my current WIP Turning my focus back to the writing feels really good!

  2. Every book is different, but what I am learning is the first books came out faster when all I had to do was write. Now I am having to market, write blogs, press releases, advertise, plot the next three books and write proposals for them, all while writing a new story. All these other things slow down the writing time…and make my hair fall out. 😦

      1. It wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t have to stop while I’m writing to edit, then copy edit., then check over the galleys. I’m a single focus kind of girl.

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