Do You Have a Waiting Room?

Over the past week I’ve been madly working on my final galley edits for my next Crimson Romance book, a book that I absolutely love. The Saint’s Devilish Deal will come out October 1, but you know what happened as I was going through the galley edits? Something that (usually) happens with all my books, but had not (until now) happened with my Saint: other characters began demanding their own attention.

Sometimes I look up and I’m not alone. Nope, we don’t have vampires or ghosts (at least, they aren’t in the classifieds or simple to find!) here on the North Coast. I have this thing I call The Waiting Room. Characters, some anonymous, some I know already…some with only really amazing eyes or a killer chest (yes, my Waiting Room can sometimes look like the Makeup trailer for a war movie), introduce themselves to me and poof! off on a story tangent.

The rule for The Waiting Room is that people can go in, but they can’t come out until they’re fully formed – they should have at least 1 name (first or last, doesn’t matter), they need to have a full face (not just eyes or lips or – once- just a nose) and they need to be ready to tell a little of their story.

Always when I’m in the middle of one story, I try to forget about The Waiting Room, but the patients waiting inside never forget about me. They pop up in dreams, interrupt me when I’m working on another character’s story and sometimes distract me while I’m cooking dinner. My general rule, and this is written down in the Handbook I leave on the coffee table in The Waiting Room, is that once I’m finished with a manuscript, the most fully developed character in the room can come forward.

Until this week, I’d been able to shut down the noise in my Waiting Room every time my Saint took center stage. This week…much harder to drown out the noise.

And, I’m sorry, Saint, but I’m going to have to let another strong, muscled chest take your place in my brain…just for a little bit. But don’t worry, you can still visit me in my dreams…just to keep me updated on your post-book life.



  1. I hear a sequel or a new novel taking place. 🙂 Best of luck to you.
    -R.T. Wolfe
    Black Creek Burning, September 24

  2. You never know, RT…but the characters demanding attention were actually not connected to my Saint…or any other book I’ve written – to date.

  3. I agree, sometimes another idea pops in my brain about another book while working on another. I stop to write down ideas and put it in it’s place.
    Cute post,

  4. Okay…trying again…I love the Waiting Room concept. Great post, Kristi.

  5. thanks for coming by, Neecy and Liz! Neecy, I write down ideas all the time…

  6. This happens all the time to me. That’s why I pretty much always have series.

  7. The waiting room – love it!

  8. LOL. I have a HUGE waiting room. I know how a big city ER doc must feel. I have about six characters screaming at me from Austin!

  9. So great! I really enjoyed this post!!

    🙂 Rionna

  10. I hadn’t thought of it as a waiting room, but that is a great way to describe it Kristina. I can see my characters milling about waiting for me to call them up. Sometimes they rush up and I will jot notes so I don’t forget what they are telling me. Great post!

  11. Waiting room…cute term. I have problems blocking out both characters and new story ideas, so I keep a journal close where I write them all down before they go into the blackhole that is my memory. 🙂 Congrats on your new release!

  12. thanks for stopping in, Rionna, Sheri and Jerri! Diane, my husband actually coined that particular term! D’Ann, ER docs have *nothing* on we writers, do they? Elke, I have a journal, too…making notes helps me firm up characters!

  13. That’s really interesting Kristina. I love the term of the Waiting Room. Great analogy. I always come up with an title first and then the characters come from there. A completely different way. Plus I often dream about the title and the subject matter and then I’m off.

  14. Titles come last for me, Rowena. Love that you dream about your characters – I do that, too. It used to freak my husband out…but he’s used to it now, lol!!

  15. Love your waiting room concept, Kristina. A great way to describe how characters come to us. I have some poking around too, but I’m going to do as you suggest and let the most fully formed one out!

  16. Fun blog. My current characters are acting like their in a witness protection program.

  17. I have so many characters in my head that its quite crowded in there. Love your cover Kristina!

  18. That was a great post, Kristina. I can almost imagine a room full of characters sitting around waiting their turn. Some are getting restless. Catch them before they leave.

  19. Don’t have a waiting room, but I have a “Plots and Fragments” file on my laptop where I stash things until I finish my work in progress – I’m too easily distracted to let myself jump from idea to idea, and too forgetful to remember things for the length of time it takes me to finish the work in progress. Sometimes I even get up in the middle of the night and stash ideas in that file – so I sleep with my laptop within reach of my bed.

  20. This is the best description I’ve ever read of what so many writers–see posts above for confirmation–experience. I have files, hanging and otherwise, bits of paper and a Pinterest board to stash ideas for the characters hanging around in my head. Now, thanks to you, Kristi, I have a waiting room!

  21. LOL, Lynn…sometimes I feel like that, too!

    Thanks, Peggy, Sharon, Carol and Sharon, for stopping in!

    Mary, I have paper files, too…but it’s always fun to take a ‘peek’ into the waiting room, too. 🙂

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