To all my friends and fellow authors at the Romance Writers of America conference starting today in New York City – have fun and just know that I'm so jealous. I wish I was there, but I'm home working on my next book (deadlines).
I'm struggling right now trying to finish a holiday novella. Don't tell anybody but I've restarted this one for the third time, because nothing around me is putting me in the holiday spirit. I've tried scented candles. Christmas carols. Watched holiday-themed movies. Drank hot cocoa. Nothing has worked.
Why? Because I live in Texas and it's bloody hot here. The last time I blogged here at Not Your Usual Suspects, we'd been having rain for a solid month. Today it was 100 degrees Fahrenheit outside (the temperature inside the car read 110 degrees). Not conducive to thinking about cheerful romps in the snow and the scent of pine filling the house.
But, I still have to finish the book, because I have a deadline when it has to be turned in for edits. I have to invoke my imagination and beg my muse to help me picture the scene and help it take shape.
It's not a magic trick or voodoo science. It's listening to your characters and where they're at in the story. What's the locale? Is it snowing? Is it cold? Are they spending the holidays in a tropical setting and maybe missing building their annual snowman?
Get into the mindset of the hero and heroine. What are they wearing? Are they bundled up against the cold, snowbound in a blizzard, or maybe stuck at the office party in atrocious Christmas sweaters? (Sorry, even inside with the A/C blowing, I'm not doing putting on a sweater.)
Clear out the space around you. If you're writing area is cluttered, that can steal your focus. (I'm guilty of that most times. I can get so focused on the words I kind of ignore the stuff piling up around me.) Right now the only things on my desk are a stack of sticky notes, a Diet Coke and since I'm trying for the holiday spirit, a scented candle. (I'm trying a cinnamon one. If that doesn't work, I'll switch to peppermint.)
So, if you get stuck, try a couple of these tricks and see if they might help you get over the hump and finish the book. That's the bottom line– finishing the book. You can't forget that because there's somebody out there waiting to read it.
Now I'm going to sign out of here, because I've got a holiday story that's calling my name.