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Sunday, March 20, 2005

Transitioning to the Next Story

Kendall and Wyatt--the h/h from my next book--started talking to me Friday night. Mostly background stuff, things that won't appear in the story, but then only about 10% of what I know about my characters makes it into a book. The transition stage is interesting because I mix names up--a lot. Like I'll call Kendall, Mika. Or if I'm thinking about TACV, I'll call Conor, Wyatt. I think that's what this time is for, to put the focus on one book in the past and move forward on the other.

Of course, Mika and Conor are still here--I can feel them--and if things hold true to form, they won't leave until after the galleys are done. I have to admit, it's so sad when my characters say goodbye. I live with them in my head for usually a year, sometimes longer, and when they're gone, it's like best friends moving all the way across the country. You know you'll hear from them occasionally, but it's not the same as when they were your roommates. :-/ I'd had Cai and Jake from Power of Two in my head for 14 months, when they left it was very sad. The only thing that mitigates this loss is the new characters demanding my attention.

What usually happens when I near the end of the book I'm writing is that a completely new set of characters shows up. That didn't occur this time--well, not really. One guy showed up without a heroine and all I know is his name and what he does. Always before, this has been a new story I had to write right now, but I'm wondering if because I have a contract for the next book already, if that's why things are different.

Anyway, it's fun to have Kendall and Wyatt talking again, showing me pieces of their pasts and how it effects who they are today. I love the intimate report I have with my characters. They show me things about themselves that they'd never willingly tell anyone else--although as their relationship develops with each other, that changes. Some of the things I learn about them aren't huge deals, but they shape who they are.

This is absolutely my favorite part about writing. Knowing my characters better than anyone else could ever hope to know them. Then telling their story, helping them grow past their hang-ups, and helping them open to true love.

MN Weather Report: 31 degrees. Wind Chill: 26 degrees.