What to do when you can’t write, or edit, your WIP? Like now, when I’m waiting for feedback from my beta readers. (Or rather I will be when a new printer cartridge arrives in the mail, so I can print a copy, so my fiancée can read it. I bet Stephen King never has this problem. Anyway.)
You write the next thing, of course! I’ve had the high-level premise for the next book knocking around for a while now, and today I started putting some bones on it. I’ve now got a chapter-summary outline for the first half, and biographies for the four protagonists, which I think is a pretty good day’s work.
The second book is set in the same universe as the first, a few months later, with a slight overlap in characters – I’m not sure if this will be confusing when I start switching between projects. I hope not.
Another pitfall I’ll need to avoid is due to the setting – the story is primarily based on a harsh, desert world, with an advanced but still fiercely tribal culture. I’ve already had to throw a few possible plot points away because I realised I’d unconsciously ripped them wholesale from Dune.
Damn you, Frank Herbert. Using up all the good desert-based material. Oh well. I’ll manage!