What to Write Next?

Michelle Ule

Blogger: Michelle Ule

Sitting in for the traveling Wendy Lawton

I’ve spent most of the last week in a flu delirium haunted by a nagging question, “what to write next?”

As I floated in and out of consciousness, heroines whose lives I lived whispered and beckoned.

What did they want?

Completion? (Will Trish ever get off that attic beam?)

Consideration (What happened when David returned from being listed DOA not MIA?)

Recalculation (How can I update Confessions of a Rejection Writer?)

But as my mind has cleared (hopefully), I’m asking the same question many of you may be asking: what do I write next?

Four things to consider when deciding what manuscript to write next.write next

Here are some suggestions on how to choose.

What does your agent (or your knowledgeable friends) suggest you write next?

Four years ago I was in this same place.

I’d spent 2012 writing two historical novellas and one outlier Navy SEAL novel.

In January, I made arrangements to discuss what to write next with my agent.

Since my agent is also my boss at Books & Such, we decided to have our meeting at the end of the business day.

At 11 o’clock, she got a phone call from an editor in New York looking for someone to write a World War I inspirational romance.

Janet and I discussed some ideas–hardly believing it possible–before I suggested the Oswald Chambers story.

“What story?” Janet asked.

“He basically led a revival among the ANZAC troops in Egypt during the war. There’s an inspiring story for you.”

“Can you write it?” she asked.

When your agent asks a question like that, you have only one answer: “Yes.”

What is your brand?

If you’re unpublished, you’re free: write whatever you like.

If you’ve established yourself in a particular genre, you need to stay there and build your writing life in that genre.

I’d been writing inspirational historical novellas, writing a novel about World War I was well within the scope of my “brand.”

But the stories haunting me in my delirium were not historical fiction–they were the novels I wrote before I was published.

They’re all women’s contemporary novels.

What to do?

I’ll think about it when my brain is truly clear–and after I’ve talked with my agent!

Do you have old manuscripts that meet any of the above criterion?

write next

I’ll spare you this one

As a matter of fact, I have one.

It’s a Civil War novel I’ve researched, thought about, outlined and recast several times.

I also promised it to two friends who have researched with me.

It’s always there nagging me and IS in my genre.

I’ll think about it tomorrow.

What do you really need to be spending your time on in 2017?

In my case, 2017 is the year of Biddy and Oswald Chambers.

(In actuality, the fifth year of focusing on them!)

Mrs. Oswald Chambers (a biography) releases in October; I need to spend this year preparing for that launch.

As to what else I’ll be writing?

Everything I’ve written for publication has come from a prompt.

I’m sure whatever God wants me to write next will turn up–at His right time.

I’m not worried at all.

What about you? What are you writing in 2017? And why?


What to write next? Click to Tweet

4 factors in deciding what to write next. Click to Tweet

How do you decide what to write next? Click to Tweet

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