New Projects Are Like First Dates

I’ve recently started a new project.  Yes, this means that I recently finished one.  It’s at a very exciting, but delicate juncture; I hope to have more to share about it very soon. In the meantime I want to tell you about my new project. Well, sort of. I’m actually telling you about my recent revelation regarding what it means to start a new project.

This is the first time in my life that I’ve finished writing a novel and am starting a new one. It’s very empowering. There’s nothing like having finished one to make you feel like you can do it again. It’s also exciting.  There is a new plot and new characters and new scenes. It feels like limitless opportunity. Yet, it’s tenuous, unknown.

It’s like a first date.

I am leaving the comfortable, intimate space of knowing my characters inside and out. I’ve got to get to know these new characters, find out their secrets, see if they’re any good in the sack. (Okay, I already know they are going to be good in the sack. I’m writing a romance novel, after all.) I need to learn their quirks and figure out what makes them attractive, what makes them tick, what turns them on.

I’m excited and optimistic, sure. But, and I know this sounds weird, there’s an awkwardness. Like meeting someone new and thinking they’re awesome, but not quite knowing what to say. Or how to say it.

It’s a challenge I haven’t faced before. It took me a little bit by surprise. I must say, though, it’s a good problem to have. My plan is to get past this shy and awkward phase quickly. I’m going to need these characters to keep me company while I slosh through edits of the ones who already feel so complete. Maybe I just need to get them to their first kiss; that always does the trick for me.