I am, once again, in between writing projects. For what seems a very long time now I have been working and reworking the same two projects. They are now both in the hands of Darth, my agent, and I need to try and let them go. Darth is a very busy guy (I hear he even has a part in an upcoming movie). So for the sake of my own sanity, if nothing else, I need to move on and start writing something new. I’ve been kicking a few ideas around, but committing to one of them is sort of like buying a used car. Yeah, they all have their points, they look good and sound good and maybe even smell good, but you never really know what you’re getting into until it’s too late to back out. And let’s face it, just about any writing project is a serious undertaking, one that involves lots of work and a fair-sized chunk of your time. The last thing I wrote (and rewrote, and rewrote) seemed like it took about five years, start to finish.
Right now I have four candidates in mind, and I’ve even written a few pages on each of them. The first is a sequel to ‘Sick Like That,’ which was itself a sequel to ‘The Last Gig.’ The protagonist is a young woman, a Puerto Rican PI named Alessandra Martillo. I like her a lot, she’s easy for me to write, I feel her. The second candidate is also a sequel, it’s a follow-up to one of the books currently consigned to the tender mercies of Darth. The protagonist in this one is a guy named Saul, named after the faithless king. I like Saul, too. Saul really wants to be one of us but he can never quite pull it off, whereas Alessandra probably doesn’t really understand why she should bother.
The third candidate is more of a long shot. The protagonist is a seriously evil character, and I’ve never really written one of those. I’ve been thinking about this one for a long time, and how much fun would it be to dream up a totally corrosive human being, set him on fire and send him out into the NYC night? It would be a blast to write, totally disconnected from anything else I’ve ever done.
And then there’s number four. This is going to be a non-fiction book. I have been sort of haunted by this one for what seems like forever, and I think it is probably something I’m going to have to tackle one of these days, or go around being sorry I didn’t have the guts. I think I can do it, and I think I should, but I am intimidated again every time I get close to it.
And then there’s the question of why, why bother, why not buy that old Triumph I’ve been lusting after instead, tear it apart and put it back together. Might be just as much fun… But the only answer I’ve been able to come up with is that this is what I do.
One and two are do-able, no question, and two would probably be the smart play. I could probably start in on three right now, I think I already have everything I need to roll with that. And the fourth probably has the biggest upside, at least in terms of satisfaction.
I’ve been changing my mind about twice a day.