I finally have a novel idea that I love. It feels so good to have a story idea that I can think about and write notes for and get excited about. It’s been two years since I last wrote a first draft and I’ve been feeling the drought. Hilari is almost finished with a first draft for her second novel since my last one. Way back when I was writing the first draft of Quantum Striker I remember her telling me that she was jealous that I was working on something new. Well Hilari got her payback and then some. But she’s been hogging the creative fairy, and now it’s my turn. I’m not turning him loose until I’ve got this first draft finished.
Seriously, though, I was beginning to wonder if I had writer’s block. I’ve spent all my creative energy on developing apps and I was having a hard time coming up with an idea that was big enough for a novel. In the past I would see something or read an article and I would get that first spark for a novel idea. Ooo, that’s interesting. What if… and I’d be off into my creative bubble figuring out a plot. But that didn’t happen this time. I got tired of waiting for the spark to strike so I started trying to force myself to come up with an idea. I thought about themes I like to write about. I looked at my file of book ideas. I picked up and discarded several ideas I’d had in the past for potential story situations. Nothing was turning up the heat on my creative fire. Then, yesterday, I was driving back from a business meeting in Fort Collins, bemoaning the fact that my tape deck wasn’t a CD player and I could no longer listen to books on tape because libraries don’t stock cassette books any more (huge breath here) and I thought why waste the time listening to the radio when I could be thinking of a book idea. I thought of stories I liked as a kid. One of my favorites was Kidnapped. So I thought what about Kidnapped in a science fiction setting? I thought about the bare bones of the plot. What set the story in motion? An uncle has his nephew shanghaied so he can keep his fortune. Okay, I like that. What kind of science fiction world would he live in? And that’s all it took. The ideas started popping. Ultimately, I ended up with a plot that was inspired by Kidnapped to start it rolling, but then turned into something so much more. Once bits of dialogue started popping into my head and I could hear the voice of the characters, I knew I had found my story.
There’s nothing like that initial excitement when you finally find the idea that gets your creative juices flowing. I’m looking forward to the coming months while I figure out all the details of this world and the strokes of the plot. I can’t wait to start the first draft once my outline is finished.
“I told ya, Pidge, not to be bringin’ strays home.”
Jace stifled a groan as he turned his head away from the conversation. It would be a mistake to open his eyes. The lids felt glued shut. He shouldn’t have had that last Kamikaze. It’d done him in. It was the last time he’d let his buds talk him into dive bombing. He didn’t have the head for that much drinking.
“But he looked all losty. Wasn’t right to leave. If I was losty I’s want findin’.”
“I gots to trust ya, Pidge, if I’m to leave ya. And if I don’t leave ya, we ainst eatin’. Pickin’ up strays is like to bring a whole lot of something we don’t want. And he’s got the looks of nothing we need.”
“I’s sorry, Donk. I’s promise not to go wanderin’ again, and bringing strays home.”