By: Jennifer Ann Coffeen
When I first began writing the goal was always on finishing the novel. I was told (rightly so) to keep my eye on the prize, and did this through countless revisions, edits, critiques, and writing days. There were times when I thought it would never be done and then suddenly – it was finished!
Next came all the polishing, querying, and more editing. Then, after Priceless Deception was accepted by Wild Rose Press I was engulfed by marketing, promoting, and selling. It’s been a crazy ride since August (did I forget to mention I also had a baby last year?) But the time has finally arrived when I had to get back to the writing desk for….the second novel. (Cue scary music here.)
60,000 words in, Novel #2 is proving to be just as challenging as the first. One main difference is that I am both more confident and more terrified. When I started writing Priceless Deception I felt free to write anything I wanted. Why not? I didn’t really think anyone was going to read it. With this novel every kiss that turns just a little too hot becomes a potential embarrassment when I imagine my mom, my friends, even my neighbors reading it! So how to combat those second book jitters? Here are a couple of suggestions.
- Go back to the basics. The second book must be easier to write than the first, right? WRONG. I still struggle over plot, word choice, and structure, not to mention forcing myself to sit in the chair every day. Instead of fighting it, I decided to go back to square one. I set a daily word count, created a sacred writing time, asked for feedback and all those little tricks that got Priceless Deception finished.
- Change up your story. If you find yourself paralyzed, try writing a contemporary or paranormal romance instead. It just might be the jolt you need to get the creativity flowing. I decided to write a couple of regency short stories last year. It was fun and gave me a little writing distance from a full length novel.
- Block out the world. You can worry about your 2nd grade teacher reading that scandalous wine cellar scene later. Don’t think about pleasing agents, editors, or fans. Write the book you want to write and the rest will fall into place.
Of course all this is much easier said than done! I would love to hear from other writers. How do you combat second (or third, or eighth) book jitters?
Jennifer Ann Coffeen is a published author currently living in Chicago. Her novel Priceless Deception and novella Lover's Gamble are both available now from The Wild Rose Press. Her work has been featured regularly at the kates, a group of women solo performers who perform the last Saturday of every month at the Book Cellar in Lincoln Square. Jennifer is a founding member of the kates, and has also written and performed original work as part of Numbskull, the Human Blockhead; The Muffin Basket Cases; and Beastwomen Female Cabaret. She is a graduate of Columbia College, and has studied at Story Studio Chicago, where she also works as part of the Chicago Literary Alliance.
“The French Blue diamond must be destroyed.”
Haunted by the words of her dying father, Lady Madeline Sinclair arrives for the London Season with more than parties and the latest fashion on her mind. She has sworn a vow, and the beautifully headstrong and fearless Madeline will allow nothing to distract her…until she meets the infamous Lord Colin, Duke of Douglas, a man known for his scandalous past engagement. With a dark grin and stormy eyes, he threatens to make her forget her duty, along with her manners.
Bound together by the mysterious diamond, Madeline and Colin soon succumb to the passion raging between them, even as the diamond eludes their grasp. But the true threat lies in the hands of an enemy whose dangerous obsession with the past has the power to destroy them both.
Priceless Deception available at The Wild Rose Press.
Visit Jennifer online at JenniferAnnCoffeen.com, and www.facebook.com/JenniferAnnCoffeen.