Oh, for a crystal ball!

crystal ballI’m about ready to finish up a new contemporary romance. It’s always fun to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but it’s also a challenging part of the writing process – figuring out if the story is really “done,” and then moving on to the agony of writing an intriguing cover blurb, choosing an eye-catching title, and creating an appealing cover.
But while that story is being scrutinized by critique partners and beta readers, I’m looking ahead to what’s next. I probably have ten stories in various stages of development – everything from a basic concept to a solid 75,000 words. Some are romance, some are general fiction, some women’s fiction, and one or two are actually non-fiction. The dilemma is, I want to write them all! Unfortunately, time demands that I choose.
Oh, for a crystal ball. Which concept is strongest? Which is most likely to strike a chord with readers or find its way to an influencer? And significantly, which one will come together most organically with words and ideas flowing as I sit at my computer?
My most recent published work is a women’s fiction, and I’m committed to a third book in that series. Charge ahead with that or take a break? The novel that’s attracting the most attention right now is my contemporary romance Something Good that was published last year. Keep the momentum going, and follow up with something similar to appeal to that same audience?
Last night, I sat down and read through several of the manuscripts I’ve started, and have to say, I feel pretty good about all of them. I can see potential in the stories and characters. I can see tension and conflict, and developing relationships. On one hand, that’s exciting because I know I can keep at this. On the other hand, it’s frightening and immobilizing because I can see about ten years’ worth of work waiting to be done!
My solution? Take a break. Go do something else, and hope that inspiration will strike, as usual, when I’m working in the yard or cleaning the house. Hoping that some of those characters will whisper in my ear and nudge me in the right direction! 🙂