Inspirational twists

A month ago, I was happily trudging along working on the sequel in my Cayo Hueso Mystery series. I figured out my plot, incorporated exciting new characters, and drafted 40K words — roughly halfway there. I was definitely rolling along. And then my brain did this thing where it got inspired to start a shiny new project.

What the –?

Anyhoo, normally I could just file that new idea away under the heading of ‘later.’ I’ll work on it later. Except I couldn’t. This new mystery, also YA, needled at me and said, “Come on, strike while the iron is hot” or some cliche to that effect.

Fair enough. So I began a negotiation of sorts with myself. I said, “I’ll work on this new project until May 31st and then it’s back to Book 2 in June.” A good compromise that has already failed. I’m so hooked on my new book that I don’t wish to work on anything else at the moment. The other day I wrote 5,000 words without feeling it. I was excited, not exhausted. I still am. I’ve given up television at night to write. I’m not checking Facebook every three seconds to write. I’m not paying much attention to my kids either lately to write. (Sure, have fruits snacks for lunch. Eat whatever you want if you give me an hour.) Writing is work, hard work. It’s tough to make your brain paint characters and setting and then translate it to a blank page. I’m amazed all the time that I know how to do this.

I’m also trying something new with my process. I’m writing scenes out of order. I’m not working from a detailed scene outline either. I’m incorporating peripheral characters’ POVs. In short, it’s working because it’s fun and it’s fun because it’s working. Figure that out.

Have you ever worked on a passion project that made you giddy? That didn’t feel like work? That practically wrote itself? I’d love to hear about it.


Author: Kimberly G. Giarratano

I'm a YA author. And mom of 3. I'm also tired. Very, very tired.

10 thoughts on “Inspirational twists”

  1. Kimberly, this is so exciting. I am thrilled for you. Sometimes the muse just shouts! Sounds like that is what is going on. Can’t wait to hear how it turns out, and to read the end result. Love that you are experimenting too. What a satisfying experience. Kudos.


  2. You need to write the thing you are passionate about. And I love fruit snacks for lunch. I’ve done that. 🙂

    To be honest, most of my first drafts write themselves (at least Draft Zero does). I think it’s because at that point I’m trying to get the raw block of the story out. It’s the revising that’s work. But even that’s a joy when it’s working well. So I hear you.

    I’ve got the opposite problem. I’ve finished my projects (one last submission of the current WIP to my critique group to go and waiting on beta feedback on the historical story), and I don’t know what to do next! I’ll get editorial comments on my Guppy anthology story by the end of the month, but what do I do until then? Ack!


  3. Thanks, Kait! I am very excited. Although, now I’m getting into the process where I have to organize my story structure. Up to this point, it’s truly been a free-for-all.

    And Mary, revising is my favorite part. Usually, I don’t enjoy the drafting. So this has definitely been a change for me.


  4. That’s so exciting, Kimberly! And I love the premise–a YA mystery set at a private school. Was the Raven Cycle inspirational for you? I’m at the tail end of revising my cozy and am very much looking forward to diving into a shiny new project 🙂


  5. Love it–sounds like you’re having fun. That’s the best feeling in the world. Most of my zero drafts work that way–I call it “joyful keyboard pounding,” lol. Then comes the middle part, when I’m no longer joyfully pounding keyboards but really working out the structure/development etc., which is much more painful. Then during the revision it’s mostly painful but there are brief flashes of joyful reworking, when it feels fun again. This is too much information, isn’t it? I’ll stop.

    Kate says it’s at a private school…I can’t find that in your post but it’s an academic mystery, my favorite genre? I need to hear MORE, please!

    Good luck with your shiny new project and your sequel too! 🙂


  6. Sounds like you’ve found a great project, and I bet your passion will show through in the end. Keep on pounding away and keep on having fun!

    Yes, I’ve had a book write itself. It was a breathless experience, and when I got to the end, my editor didn’t want any changes. They’re magical books when that happens. Can’t wait to read yours!


  7. Kate — hell yeah, the Raven Cycle inspired. I love that series!
    And Cynthia, the setting is an all male boarding school with a cagey school administration. Lots of intrigue there.
    Sue — I hope my book is magical. I’m gonna query this one.


  8. Kimberly, loved your post. I too love it when the muse strikes but try not to attach too much to it. Not to be a party-pooper, but if you get too high on the good times, the sluggish times are worse. Rather than the big scary roller coaster rides, I prefer the small ones – like the little kids ride at the fair.
    Mary Sutton, in between projects I write short stories, or I do exercises out of the how-to books. I especially like David Corbett’s Art of Character exercises.


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