Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Going for Weird

 My fourth book has a weird plot. 

What happened was that I wrote three books about suburban motherhood. Each one had a different take and a different setting and a different world with a different set of rules. I like each of those projects a lot, and sometimes, I can't believe I even wrote them. It seems so bizarre and hard to produce a book. Still, even after I've done it a few times.

And, when I finished with Home or Away, I just didn't have anything else to say about suburban motherhood. It took a while to figure out what the pivot was going to be, especially because my editor and publisher get to collaborate on that. Collaboration always takes longer, but experience tells me it's generally worth it.

We all went pretty far on two different ideas before bagging them and going back to the drawing board for my real fourth novel, my first (pretty-please) non-pandemic release. One of those discarded ideas I'm running right back to when I finish Book 4. It's going to be Book 5. But in the meantime, I'm immersed in a funny-yet-poignant, quirky-but-believable, high-concepty story about mistaken identity, deception, and--this part came as a real shock to me--grief.

Least surprising surprise ever, right, since my own brother died eighteen months ago? Every main character has a powerful grief wellspring hanging out in their motivations for every damn thing. Figuring that out (it took 200 pages or so) gives me some ideas about how to move forward.

Moving forward is happening. This Thursday, I'm printing all the pages and taking stock.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Weird is always good!
Have you seen the new ad campaign for the Minnesota Wild hockey team?
"Not weird. Wild."

Also, there is a lot of grief in the "post-pandemic" world. I look forward to your new book and reading the ways that you personally and professionally express feelings of dismay, loss, and sadness...with weird overtones!

Best wishes!

LH said...

I'm so excited about book #4. Your amazing creativity inspires me every day!