A couple of weeks ago, I decided I should write another Christmas story for this year. I’d have to hurry to get it done in time, but I had a few ideas in the back of my head that I’d been thinking about for a while, so I figured I could write a short book pretty quickly.
Then last weekend I sat down to actually think it through and wrote down what I knew about the ideas I had, and I realized how weak those ideas were. When I started trying to develop them, I ran into plot holes and logic problems (which means they’d probably have been fine as the basis for a Hallmark movie, but I have higher standards). Figuring that I wouldn’t try to write a Christmas story this year, after all, I got up to do something else.
And then I got hit by an entirely new idea. When I sat down to write what I knew about it and develop that, I ended up with pages and pages. It kept growing and building.
So, I thought, that’s good that I have a story idea.
But my brain wasn’t done. Suddenly, the previous ideas I’d had fit into that setting in a way that fixed the plot holes. I had the possibility for a series. Every year, I could do a Christmas story set in this same town. In the first one, I could establish some characters who would show up in later stories, and in the later ones I could follow up with the previous characters to show what they’re doing now.
And then yesterday it struck me that once a year isn’t a lot for that kind of series. I could hit all the major holidays, and I had ideas for that.
The tricky thing would be classifying them, aside from the “holiday” theme. They’re generally “sweet” romantic comedy, but they all have a magical element — more like magic realism than outright fantasy, and they’re not really paranormal romance. It looks like this sort of thing sells really well, and I think it would be a fun break to write. I doubt it would help me with fantasy name recognition and might more firmly embed me in the “too romancey” category for getting in with a fantasy publisher, but I’m at the point on giving up on the fantasy world ever accepting me. I might as well earn a living doing something fun rather than keep banging my head against that brick wall.
So now if I’m going to do this, I’ll have to write the Christmas one quickly and maybe come up with the story and characters for a Valentine’s Day one and write an opening so I could include a teaser in the first book. Plus, I need to fully develop the town and come up with the characters for the next few books.
This is what happens when I think I can write a quick, easy, fun story in between bigger projects.