Friday, October 12, 2012


Trying on a new series for size!

I've been tossing around ideas for a new series these past few weeks. It seems the one I found myself being pulled into is not one that will fly with my publisher, according to my agent. Fair enough. So it's back to the drawing board, although I'll not totally shelve my idea. There are other publishers around, after all.

Coming up with an idea is similar to being let loose in a candy shop, or for me, a chocolate shop. All those shapes, colours, tastes just waiting to be combined and tried. All those ideas of settings, themes, characters, all at a ready. The tough part is narrowing it down to one. And, of course, trying to think of what will grab the editor's fancy.

That's my problem, too many ideas and forcing myself to commit to one. Or two, at this stage. Perhaps it's a good idea to test drive the finalists, when I arrive at that stage. Maybe craft a short story using the characters and setting. See how they feel and read on paper, all fleshed-out. And then, of course, finding a market for that story. But perhaps by that point, I'll have found the set of characters, particularly a protagonist I want to spend a lot of time, years actually, around.

Okay, I admit that taking this approach is really writing for the market, rather than starting with what I feel I need to say and who I want to say it. But it works. By the time I'm well into writing the book, it has morphed into the story I want to be writing and telling. That, after all, is what writers do. And now, back to the brainstorming.

How do you handle it?

So many little time!

Linda Wiken/Erika Chase

Berkley Prime Crime, now available
READ and BURIED, coming Dec., 2012, available for pre-order

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