The word “next” can be rather scary for only having four letters. It combines immediacy (no more time for dilly-dallying, this thing is happening forthwith) and uncertainty (we never know exactly how the future will go). Right now I'm tiptoeing closer and closer to my own big, bold NEXT.
And I'm not entirely sure what it will hold.
For those following my progress on Olympus Gate, the final pre-querying draft is very nearly done. That means it's time for me to be looking ahead to the next project.
Among my options, there's one in particular I feel drawn to. It's about a girl who grants wishes, but who must be very very careful not to let her own stray wishes lose into the universe or she'll risk doing harmful magic that can't be un-wished.
It's about gargoyles too, and martial artists and punk rockers. It's about a charismatic and dangerous boy who is the Omega to the main character's Alpha.
But it's also—and here's the big, scary part—about life in a wheelchair. Because one of the main character's stray wishes gets her badly injured to the point of paraplegia.
So here I am, peering over the border into Nextville and beginning to wonder whether I'm really able to dive into such a huge topic. At this current moment, this book is impossible for me to write. I don't know enough yet. An injury like the one my character sustains has never been part of my world. So in order to do this and do it right, I have a lot to learn.
The idea of doing that research is frightening and humbling. What if I totally misrepresent the experience of dealing with the injury and its consequences? What if people think I'm audacious for even trying?
But then on the other hand, my character is out there, trying to be heard, and without me she'll never have a voice. I hardly even know her yet, but already she is important to me.
So I know I'll take the first step. I'll start the research. Maybe I'll get stuck and find myself deciding to go a different direction. Maybe this will turn out not to be the right project for me. But for now, what comes next is to learn everything I can about this girl and her experience.
What's coming next for you?