I have a friend who often remarks on how long it takes her to write a book in her historical romance series. I never appreciated her problem until I began writing the first book in my Cactus Cowboys series.
I spent a good part of last year reading about the history of Arizona and collecting reference materials on what life was like in the 1860s and 70s. I’ve been to Old Tucson Studios and the Empire Ranch and the Tucson
I don’t know yet.
You see, when developing my hero and heroine, I discovered she’s living in Philadelphia at the beginning of the story. So far, the story isn’t very interesting. I’m not sure it’s even a story. And, if I’m bored by all this throat-clearing that isn’t really a story, what will readers think? The whole situation has been frustrating, to the point where I’ve been thinking about abandoning this idea and writing another cozy mystery instead. At least I know what I’m doing with my cozy mystery series.
Then, as I was lying in bed this morning listening to a podcast on motivation, a lightbulb went on. If I’m so eager to get to the part of the story that starts in Arizona, why not start the novel there? What I’ve been writing is really all backstory to the novel I envisioned.
This morning, I copied the Scrivener project I’ve been writing into a new project. I want to save the more than 13,000 words I’ve already written with the idea of turning it into a short story or novella at some point. It might be useful as what’s called a reader magnet to entice readers of this series to subscribe to my newsletter.
I’m going to use the new project to write the actual novel, the one that starts with more action, more conflict, and most of