I spent more time revising yesterday than writing new material, but I did finish a chapter and start a new one. I’m going to answer yesterday’s questions in today’s post, rather than to you individually, so everyone can see my answers. I also thought you might enjoy reading a little of what I worked on yesterday, which I’ve provided below. I’ve started listening to a new book called GRIT, which suggests that persistence and passion are more important than talent or natural ability.

He started down the ladder, and she took a step back to give him room once he was on the ground. His shirt was damp with sweat, and she was aware of a not unpleasant masculine odor as he dropped the shears on the grass beside the stone walk. “I wasn’t complaining,” he said as he tugged the scarf off her hair and let it swing from his hand. “But I can’t guarantee the neighbors won’t be appalled by my new duchess’s behavior.”
“You’re the one up a ladder half undressed for anyone passing by to see.”
He grinned, and she felt her stomach do a strange flip-flop. Unconsciously, she took another step back, as though to escape some web that threatened to entangle her.
“They expect outrageous behavior from me.”
“Why is that?” she asked, aware that she was having trouble catching her breath.
He reached out and tucked a loose curl behind her ear, his knuckles lingering as they brushed her cheek. In a low, quiet voice he said, “We Blackthornes are known to be a scurrilous lot.”

QUESTION: What do you do when you get “stuck?”
ANSWER: I usually leave the computer and do something useful–take a shower, clean the bathroom, cook dinner, take a walk–until I figure out in my head what comes next. That can take five minutes–or five hours.

QUESTION: How do you come up with the “in-between” story that connects one idea to the next?
ANSWER: Usually there’s some question or problem that is being dealt with that will crossover from one chapter to the next. And before the characters are able to resolve one problem–I make sure I give them another one!

QUESTION: Do you create “as you go” or do you have to think about where you’re going in the plot.
ANSWER: I start with a 20 page synopsis (short story of the book) for a 400 page book which essentially sets up the story, the characters, the major conflict, and the resolution. Sometimes I follow it, sometimes the characters take me in a different direction.

QUESTION: Do you ever say, “I just don’t want to write today” and say, “The heck with it?”
ANSWER: I assume you’ve felt that way, too, about your job. What happens if you don’t go to work? You wouldn’t get paid. The same applies to me. I make my living as a writer. It’s my only source of income. I don’t have the luxury of saying “I just don’t want to write today.” Otherwise, my work would never get done. But there are definitely days when I let myself get distracted and don’t accomplish everything I’d hoped to get done. I just have to “get back on the horse” the next morning. This week I have my grandkids with me, so I’ve spent time with them (whitewater rafting, Water World!) and had to write in the evening to make it up.