Shannon Stacey

Confusing the Muse

The post-sale process teaches (or attempts to teach) all kinds of new skills, and with the fabulous freedom Ellora’s Cave gives its authors as far as exploring different subgenres, the ‘writing one book while editing a previous one’ is a skill I’d better pick up pretty quickly. (As is not writing ginormous run-on sentences, too, I’m sure.)

My muse likes to jump around. She’s schitzo, and that’s okay. Especially with the publisher I’m lucky to have. But she’s confused as hell right now.

The difference between Twice Upon A Roadtrip and the vampire book I’m working on now is the old cliche—day and night. Roadtrip’s a goofy romantic comedy. The vampire book is dark and edgy and very much not funny. And the muse was having fun with that. Until it came time to edit Roadtrip, and foward motion on the vampires essentially came to a screeching halt…

Muse: Funny? You want me to be funny? We just killed off a teenaged prostitute, and you want me to be funny?

Shannon: It would help.

Muse: You don’t need me to erase your misappropriation of the world’s commas.

Shannon: Well, there’s other stuff, too. Writing stuff.

Muse: I can’t just switch back and forth between funny and intensely dark. YOU’RE the one who’s always being called Sybil. Not me.

Shannon: Let’s just get on with this so we can punt it and get back to poor Tomas.

Muse: Fine. But if I get confused and somebody is heinously murdered, don’t blame me.

Writing and editing at the same time is definitely a skill I need to master. Quickly.

5 comments to “Confusing the Muse”

  1. Charlene
      · May 14th, 2005 at 9:52 am · Link

    Two suggestions: write new words in the morning, edit at the end of the day. Or whatever two time blocks you want to break it into. Alternatively, set aside writing for one week and hammer out the edits, then go back to writing.

    I’m working out the best method for me on this, too. I’ve tried setting aside to edit, but I think separate time blocks might work better next round. My writing progress is too slow when I keep setting it aside to edit. And editing hurts my little brain. I think I need the fun factor of new words to stay energized.

  2. Jaci
      · May 14th, 2005 at 10:20 am · Link

    Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated. :whip:

    You’ll get used to it. Edit the book, get it off your desk, and then go back to your vamps. I find one project at a time gets me in the right frame of mind.

    Now get to it, woman! I’m waiting for hot vampies :whip:

  3. Shannon
      · May 14th, 2005 at 11:37 pm · Link

    I’m still working on it. Right now I’m trying to mostly editing, but giving myself an hour or so at the end to work on the vampires.

    I’ll get there. :write:

  4. Sasha
      · May 15th, 2005 at 5:33 am · Link

    When you find the key to doing this…please share!
    Although, Charlene’s plan sounds good. I think I’ll give that a try. :nod:

  5. Shannon
      · May 18th, 2005 at 12:37 am · Link

    I’ve had to go Jaci’s route–just stop, do the edits, then move on. But there’s nothing like setting aside one manuscript for having its characters start jabbering like mad. :blah:

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