Wednesday, July 2

The voices...yikes...the voices!

As a writer, I always have voices in my head. Characters appear and talk to me. They want me to tell their stories, and I want to, so very much. However, one dilemma for me as a writer is that often, the people talking in my head aren’t the characters in the book I’m currently working on.

That’s been my problem lately. I’m staying with my Grandboy this week while his parents are on working vacation/second honeymoon. I didn’t take any editing gigs during this time because I’d planned to write while I was here. Well, I’ve been here a week and I’ve managed to eke out one new chapter on the current WIP. Part of my issue is, naturally enough, trying to write with a two-year-old present.

I’d forgotten the energy and level of focus required to be with a toddler 24/7. Holy cats! He’s a bundle of energy and believes that I should be too. So, I’ve danced in bubbles in the back yard, put together a train track, deconstructed a train track, raced cars around said train track, chased balloons, gone to the park to play, splashed at bath time, sung songs, and read endless numbers of books. We watched about a half hour of a little league game in the park, met another writer friend for supper one night, watched more of Daniel Tiger than I care to admit, have had several weepy arguments about why we can’t take blue puppy to nursery school, and chased poor Lily, the golden retriever, around the yard. Whew! Any wonder that when he’s finally down for the night, binge-watching Mad Men on Netflix appeals way more than writing?

I’m not using Grandboy as an excuse for not being focused enough to write though. I think my real issue is that I’m tired of my current WIP. I’m bored with these folks. I want to be done and move on to new stories. I’ve been working and reworking this story for over a year and it’s time to just finish it. I have great ideas for closing it out, but when I sit down at my computer, my fingers simply can’t seem to make the words. Instead, I pull out this other story—characters who’ve been nudging me for a couple of months—and I get into their story.

Obviously, that’s not getting the current book done, is it? And I’m not at all sure I won’t get events, timelines, plot devices, etc. mixed up if I try to work on two stories at one time. I’m fairly good at running two or three editing gigs concurrently, but I’m not so sure whether it works for me as a writer. Anyone else have this issue? What do you think about working on two or even three or four stories in parallel?


Guest Wrangler Nan Reinhardt is a writer of romantic fiction for women in their prime. Yeah, women still fall in love and have sex, even after 45! Imagine! She is also a wife, a mom, a mother-in-law, and a grandmother. She’s been an antiques dealer, a bank teller, a stay-at-home mom, a secretary, and for the last 17 years, she’s earned her living as a freelance copyeditor and proofreader.

But writing is Nan’s first and most enduring passion. She can’t remember a time in her life when

she wasn’t writing—she wrote her first romance novel at the age of ten, a love story between the most sophisticated person she knew at the time, her older sister (who was in high school and had a driver’s license!) and a member of Herman’s Hermits. If you remember who they are, you are Nan’s audience! She’s still writing romance, but now from the viewpoint of a wiser, slightly rumpled, menopausal woman who believes that love never ages, women only grow more interesting, and everybody needs a little sexy romance.

Her first novel Rule Number One is available at and Barnes& The other two, Once More From the Top and Sex and the Widow Miles — the first novels in the Women of Willow Bay series, are available at Amazon and several other e-book retailers.

Visit Nan’s website:
Twitter: @NanReinhardt
Talk to Nan at:


  1. Thanks for being here, Nan! As far as "multi-writing"?--I can't. I envy those who can, and I do intend to try Holly's "Sunday book" concept, but for now it's just the WIP--singular.

  2. Hey Liz, thanks for having me today. As you know, it's a travel day for me--currently in layover at BWI. I'll check in again when I get to my hotel. ;-)

  3. Hi, Nan! I know exactly what you're talking about. I currently have three open WIPs and a non-fiction I'm editing and formatting. The book I need to finish first has been dragging along and the other two talk louder as soon as I open the "right" story. I've been able to keep plotlines and characters straight by rereading a few pages and referring to my notes, but I realllly want to just finish a book!!!

  4. Hi Nan! I'm one of those people who can't ignore the voices. I have to write the characters and summary of what they're telling me or I can't write at all. Once I have the idea down, I can move back to the current WIP. I have two stories on the back burner now. Good luck with them all and the grandboy.

  5. *waves to Nan* Thank you so much for filling in today - always GREAT to have you with us Wranglers.

    I know what you mean about the voices - they are wonderful and intrusive and sometimes a little hard to understand...but I love it when they start talking.

  6. Hi, Nan. Welcome to WW!
    I always have 2 or 20 or 200 stories in my head at once. I'm so bored with the one I'm on now I hope a reader doesn't doze off, too! LOL

  7. Hi Nan! I usually have two or three stories going until one takes hold and demands to be the "only". And then during that time, the others will pop up periodically and I jot down notes or dialogue clips and put them back in the Kristi-termed "waiting room"

  8. Hi there, Nan. This happens to me all the time. I'm working on three now and they all want my attention,