When life is hard, you have to change


I’ve been really pouring it on recently. I’ve made it a point to send out at least one proposal or application for jobs every day, whether for writing or design. Since I’m not old enough to start collecting the highest amount available to me from Social Security, I’m going to need to keep working to bring in money, especially when it comes time for our move. Yes, the cost of living in Portugal is, generally, lower than here, but the actual moving of our lives over there is going to be an expensive endeavor.

One of the writing jobs I sent a proposal for involves ghostwriting novels for an agency that employs numerous writers for multiple clients. The ad also said that the opportunity was there for a long-term working relationship.

Now, I know I’ve stated in the past that I don’t like the idea of ghostwriting in general, and I still feel the same way about those generalities. I don’t like the idea of writing stories, something that I’m trying to do for myself, for my own fame and fortune, and just give them anonymously to someone else for them to publish under their name.

But in specific situations, like the two ghostwriting jobs I’ve already done, I didn’t feel bad about it. In both of those cases, the story was already created. The client had a screenplay that he had written and wanted it turned into a novel.

Since the story, characters, etc. were already done, I felt okay taking his work and novelizing it. Enough that when he asked if I wanted another one, I said yes.

With this potential venture I’m looking at now, they will provide me with a detailed outline of the story and I’ll flesh it out. Again, I’ll be taking someone else’s ideas and filling in the blanks. Maybe I’m just justifying it, but I’m comfortable with it. Even though I’ve criticized James Patterson for not writing his own books, but writing outlines and outsourcing the actual writing to others. I know, I’m a big steaming pile of contradictions.

Anyway, to see if they like what I write, they want me to take some writing prompts for four different styles of novels and begin telling stories from them. I’ll take one of the prompts, build a 1500-word scene from it, then move on to the next one.

I’ve never taken a writing prompt and turned it into a story before. I’ve seen others do it, but I always had plenty of my own ideas that I never felt like I had to take someone else’s ideas to write a story. Well, at least in this case, times have changed.

I’ve already completed one of them, a “cozy mystery” scene. I’ve never really been into cozy mysteries. Stories and shows like Murder, She Wrote always just seemed too sweet and unrealistic. But once I got started, this one came pretty easily for me. And it turned out really good, too, good enough that, when Linda read it, she hoped that I could save it, perhaps to use in a compilation of short stories. Of course, I can’t, having already signed a non-disclosure agreement with this agency, but it’s nice to know that I can do this if I decided I wanted to.

The next one I’ve started on, an urban fantasy, is also not my usual style, and this one is coming a little harder. But I’m saving the two that appeal to me most for last, romance and mystery/suspense. Those are what I enjoy writing and I’m looking forward to doing them. I just have to get through the urban vampire hunter story first.

Might be time to commune a little with my muse.