I've taken a break from synopses and query letters until I can pinpoint publishing houses and agents I want to send my work to and then tailor both for ultimate appeal--something I plan to start this weekend. I've also been looking at contests. You know, most authors say research is one of their favorite things--they feel like they're really accomplishing something when they're gathering facts for a book. For me, it's the opposite. Maybe it's because I haven't been so much as researching as I've been looking at potential marketing avenues. I'm sure if I was reading Witchcraft & Practical Magic or The World's Greatest Buildings--two books I did recently buy for research--I'd feel like I was accomplishing a lot more than I do when I'm looking through listings and listings of contests. It's like looking for scholarships all over again. Most are for short stories written by people living in Idaho in second-story apartments with a secondary hobby of kite flying and who also have a body of work that embraces the theme of a dying social structure. (Okay, I exaggerated, but I truly was hoping to find more genre-based novel contests!) In the meantime, I've started freewriting again.
Freewriting is when I sit down with no objective in mind and write down book ideas as they come to me. I'm focusing this time on Madison and her whole world. The strange thing about freewrites, is that I feel like I'm learning information as I go--like I'm taking notes while my subconscious or my creative mind or my muse (whatever you want to call it) dictates. So this week I've "learned" about some future conversations Madison is going to have (with who, I don't know, but it sounds like with Mr. Dark and Deadly, one of the male leads from the first book. If you go to my website and click on "The Adventures of Madison Fox" tab, you can see a list and a little information on the main characters from the first book). I also "learned" a little about what it means to be a real Illuminant Enforcer. (Geez, I wish you all had read the first book already! You don't even know what an enforcer is. You'll just have to trust me that Madison Fox is an Illuminant Enforcer, and an enforcer is something pretty cool to be.) I explored some options of future abilities she'll learn, characters she'll run into, friends she'll make, shopping trips she'll embark on, and challenges she'll face. It is so nice to be back in a writing/creativity frame of mind!
In less than an hour during the first freewrite, I had three different book ideas, but only one that might work for the next book in the series. I'm continuing to flesh out the idea (and learn so much more about Madison), but I think I'll be able to draft up an outline and possibly a synopsis for book two soon. Maybe even one for book three. How marvelous would it be to be able to sell two books at once! Full-time author here I come!