So, rather than working on either the WIP, the other manuscript I need to revise, or any of the short stories I intended to revise this morning…I started writing another Chanse book. Oh, it’s going to have to be shelved for a while–these other manuscripts need my attention and I can’t keep pushing them to the side–but I had the Chanse idea, I wanted to get the first chapter down because I’d seen it in my head, and I managed to write three thousand words, quite easily, in less than two hours.
And all I could think, when I finished, was this is how easy it’s always supposed to be yet never is.
And it’s actually not bad writing. I printed it out to keep in a folder and reread it, and while there are some tweaks needed here and there, and some things that need to be added to it, it can pretty much stand on its own. It was spooky, too, how easily I immediately slipped back into Chanse’s voice and head; how the tone just flowed perfectly out of my fingers as I typed.
And yes, this is why writers drink.
But don’t get your hopes up too high, people and Chanse fans. I have to finish at least two other manuscripts, and do another project, before I can focus on writing this book–if I decide to go forward with it. I’m just trying to get all the ideas down now, as they are coming to me, so when I have the time and can work on it, it’s all there and I don’t have to try to remember it. I’d wanted to finish this WIP, go back and finish revising another manuscript before I have to devote myself to a special project for two months. This is why I wanted to have the first draft of the WIP finished by the end of June; so I could spend July revising the other manuscript before the two-month project–and then I wanted to write the first draft of the next Scotty (working title: Hollywood South Hustle) before revising the current WIP and getting it ready to go. But now I have a Chanse book crowding it’s way into my brain, and I know I am not going to be able to stop thinking about it until it’s fucking finished and written and turned in.
But you know what? So be it. When I finished Murder in the Arts District I thought I was finished with Chanse, and there wasn’t anything else for him to do or say or anything. And yet, here we are, with all kinds of ideas bursting out of my head, for a new Chanse. And yes, it’s inspired by the case of the Jeff Davis 8, but it’s not going to be ripped from the headlines; I’m going to take the basic set-up of the murders and use that for a Chanse book…one that doesn’t take place in New Orleans. I was always reluctant to have either Chanse or Scotty do anything that wasn’t in New Orleans, which was always limiting, and now that I look back on it, kind of stupid. As I said the other day, I am getting more and more interested, not only in New Orleans history, but in the rest of Louisiana as well. I’ve always liked mysteries/crime fiction set in small towns, and why not use a Louisiana small town for one?
And the dynamics of the Jeff Davis 8–the set-up for it, the town, everything–is just too perfect of a starting place for me to just pass up.
And it’s not like it’s the first time I came up with a story idea based on actual events.
Plus, it gives me the opportunity to explore some themes and ideas I’ve been wanting to sink my teeth into for a while.
And on that note, tis back to the spice mines.