Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The First Book Is The Easiest -

- To be sung in tune with the Rod Stewart track;
'The First Cut Is The Deepest'
- c'mon sing-a-long - you know you want to...
Yes, at the risk of you all running out there, gathering sticks, and setting a big bonfire to burn alive she who speaks the words of the devil (i.e: Me) - I'm gonna stand up here on my nice re-enforced soapbox and shout it loud. I really do think the first book is the easiest. Erm, sorry...
Now I can hear you all asking in a Yoda-type voice (while passing the matches for the bonfire behind your back) - 'Think this do you, why?' And I'm just that good that I will you. Burn me after if you wish, frankly I'm too tired to care, and I've drank enough wine this last week that I should keep a pretty flame going right up to Halloween...
The first book is the easiest because:
1/ You're not on a deadline other than one you set for yourself to finish it.
2/ On your very first book you'll maybe try something 'outside the box' to get you pulled from the slush pile so you just go ahead and write what you would like to read yourself no matter what sort of nonsense you read.
3/ You don't worry about all the other fantabulous Best-Selling authors of the line being on the shelf at the same time as you (Cos all you wanna do realistically is get revisions or the golden grail that is an actual sale).
4/ You will still remember that there is a life away from the computer/laptop and will allow yourself time to go visit it. When the mood/necessity/ rabid friends who haven't seen you months strike.
5/ You will make a concerted effort to still care about what you eat/your weight/exercise because you still worry how you look when you do go back to your life (see point 4)
6/ You can still read other peoples books for the sheer enjoyment of them and not find yourself looking for all the clever things they've done that make you green at the gills and force you to think what you're working on is utter drivel.
7/ You don't worry constantly and moan on MSN messenger to other authors about the fact that you think you're but one book away from being dropped. (because with a first book you can only see the idea of being bought and to hope you'll have a second/third/fourth is a jump too far)
8/ You can appreciate pictures of hot men purely for their aesthetic qualities and not because you've just built an entire character around them that demands you go write about it immediately, jumping the queue for the one you're already knee deep in and more than likely in the difficult middle of.
9/ You don't have the bile producing guilt that comes with having a website and a blog that hasn't been updated since 1978 because you don't actually need one at that point.
10/ You don't worry about repeating phrases/plotpoints/descriptions/hero & heroine names over and over and over again from book to book - because you only have the one darn book so it's still original...
In fact, come to think of it, all this kind of falls into the same league as the Things They Don't Tell You About Being A Writer series that we did not that long ago. Which means I'm repeating myself doesn't it? Ha! See point 10!!!!
And the cause for all this angst my friends? Prolonged time in the deadline cave whilst the Writing God's conspire to make me insane...
Not that there was anything actually wrong with the story or the characters in Anticipation you understand. (well, having said that is has only just gone to my Editor this morning so time will tell...) The book itself, once I got going, was an absolute joy to write. They were just so real after the first few chapters that they told the story themselves and towards the end I found myself alternatively weepy and laughing aloud.
Mind you, that could have been the exhaustion... and the wine...
Thanks to a little help from my friends with the casting of the hero, and a little bit of a twiddle round with the casting for the heroine at home alone the story flew. But then there was the cyber wine drinking competition I had while I buddy wrote alongside my super dooper friend Natasha - who is still in the cave - pop over and give her a yell of support if you get the chance...
But I did have a few small things hold me back along the way. A short deadline to begin with (my idea - just shoot me if I ever suggest that again) - a short jaunt out onot the circuit with some freelance work with horses (which nearly killed me) and then I had a sad loss when I finally lost my lovely horse Katie (I will blog about it soon 'cos I know a lot of you were following her story) and then I had alternate sunburn/heatstroke/flu and several powercuts... oh and virus that shuts down my laptop three to four times a day. ..
Yes, gals, The First Book Is The Easiest...
And my reward for all this trouble from the Writing God's? Cos I really think I deserve a reward, don't you?
Well, this weekend we're having a mass girls night out to see The Lakehouse - Keanu Reeves - Sandra Bullock - nuff said...
Oh, and I have a surprise release out this month - Direct only - so it's only available through the eharlequin website - and I'm up on the Harlequin Romance Writers blog too if you want to take a look see... Its The Wedding Surprise... one of my personal favs...
Back to my life and sleep for a few days and then a big website overhaul methinks...

8 comments:

aftershavelp said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Natasha said...

Yes, first book is the most fun to write. After that it becomes downright scary.

And where were you last night????

Margaret McDonagh said...

Perhaps this EU wine lake they are prattling on about should be shared out to writers in caves?!

Congratulations in finishing and yes, you most definitely deserve a treat so have a fab time on your mass girls' night out.

And I agree completely, being stuck on book 3 which doesn't want to come together, that the first book is the easiest because there is no pressure or expectation. Yes, you desperately want to be published, but once you are as Natasha said, it becomes scary because you are a professional and expected to deliver. Oh help!!!!

Best wishes,
Mags

Donna Alward said...

OMG Trish that's downright EERIE. Can I c&p that to my other loop?

Pressure. Yep, the difference is pressure.

Haven't seen you on MSN so I'm assuming you're taking a hard-earned break for a few days...

Nicola Marsh said...

Enjoy your break, Trish.

You deserve it!

Looking forward to Anticipation already :)

Liz Fielding said...

Everything that Trish said, plus, a piece of advice from one who knows.

When you find yourself reaching for a size larger pair of jeans because they'll be "more comfortable to work in" join Weight Watchers. Immediately.

Kate Lardy (no, that wasn't a typo) said...

I second Liz's post. (I didn't do that. Regret, regret, regret.)

Re hero/heroine's names - I keep a character list for each book - actually, it's worse than that. I have a database so I don't repeat secondaries' names too often, either... (This is nerdy, I admit, but a necessity if you write a stupid amount of books per year.)

Enjoy your weekend off and come back to tell us all about the film!

Nicola Marsh said...

Kate,
not nerdy at all (I do it too!!)
It was becoming too confusing the more books I wrote so I jot down names of characters in each book, then have a list of secondary characters' names I tick off once used.
It's so helpful!!