Of Autumn and Zombies

So, Kiara is home from school this week for fall break.  And, since the landscapers are here to take away my fallen tree (with all the screaming-tree and chainsaw madness that entails), my daughter's antics of running around the house and giggling at the most random things are quite welcome. But, I admit, there is a more selfish reason for me to delight in her presence. Having her here keeps me from obsessing over the queries/submissions I have out right now. Yeah, I admit it, I'm going a little crazy right now, but that's no different than any other day.

Last week I decided to dive into the sequel to I WANT HIM FOR HIS BRAINS (working title: MOURNING SICKNESS). I hammered out an outline and made a start on the first chapter. When I start a new project, I try to do a "proof of concept" chapter. Something where I'm writing in that world, from that protag's point of view, just to make sure it works. To see if I'm headed in the right direction. So, I took MS for a test drive last week with the opening scene of chapter 1. It was okay. I thought it was fun and could be punched up in edits. Then, I slept on it.

Now, I won't say that I hated that opening, but I will say that it seemed about as natural to the character and the tone of the book as pants are to Lady Gaga. So, scrapped it and tried to focus more on the feel of this book. Yes, I write things that are funny. Yes, I write about zombies, but MS is going to be more serious than its predecessor, analyzing the consequences of the actions in BRAINS. So, yes, it will be heavier. So, I tried a heavier opening. Something that would give you (the reader) an idea of what you were getting into, that would ask questions and entice you to read more. It was dark and ominous, and I loved it.

Then, I slept on it.

Still didn't fit. Come on, I write zombie humor, how can I possibly let my snarky protagonist wax poetical about the ashes of a dead man for a page? While I like the material, it just doesn't work in this case.

So, I took another stab at the opening, going back to the original idea and lo, it still doesn't work! Surprised?  Grr! So, I know the story I want to tell. I know where Eve is going to go with her life and I know what I want to throw at her, but really, I just don't know how to start this.

This morning I realized that this book is just not ready to be written. I need to do some more planning, scheming and ask myself what shape I want the narrative to have.

So yeah, not sure how much writing will get done this week, but I will have plenty of time to think.

But first: I need to tickle the little girl. Best. Laugh. Ever.

Shine on, you.