A New Life in Seattle

A New Life in Seattle
August, 2018

Sunday, January 29, 2017

On Art as a Confidence Game

Today I sent the fourth Boss MacTavin mystery off for formatting. And I plan to launch it around March 1, to prepare for a radio interview scheduled for March 22. At the same, Hold Fast Press is preparing the first print edition of Southern Scotch...then The Alcatraz Correction...and on.

So, all in all, it would be natural for you to think that I'm dancing on Cloud 9.

Actually, though, I'm of two minds. Yes, I'm on that groovy cloud--and I'm also here:

All the old anxieties surface again as I prepare to begin the next book. Which of the several ideas in my head shall I go with this time? Is my mojo still in order? Do I have the energy for another grueling siege directly after the last one?

As always, the process begins with what I call a war book.

For weeks, or months, I'll fill my war book with assorted Q&A's about setting, themes, possible plot lines, characters, etc. In this particular instance, I'm considering a sort of spinoff on the MacTavin series--with one of his partners setting up a branch in Seattle, dealing with insurance scams and retail theft (the plot line in the last book).

Setting these occasional spinoffs in Seattle will spare me the need for location research. And finding a simpler style for the different narrator will allow me to write these more quickly. I hope.

The main thing is, it's question time. And there's stress but no failure at this point--except failing to ask enough questions. If the old process holds true, my confidence will begin to rise again.

One day like any other day I'll start to fiddle with opening lines, one of which seems right to me. And I'll soon feel an intolerable itch that compels me to start writing. Once I've started, there'll be no stopping, though I well know the murderous struggle ahead through draft after draft after draft.

No complaints. I love it all. The part of it, though, that's a confidence game is always a struggle for me. That said, let it begin again.

Yeah, let it begin today!

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