People have thousands of thoughts a day- those synapses are constantly snapping together to form ideas. But only ONE out of a million will grow up to be nurtured and molded into a fully-formed story by our own hands.
But the question is: Which one? And more importantly: Why?
How and why do we choose to write the stories we write?
In my case, I’ll have an idea for a book every few days or so- usually when I’m driving. If my enthusiasm fizzles out in the first ten minutes of daydreaming about the possible plot- I don’t usually bother retaining the idea.
If it doesn’t, and the story idea keeps coming back to me over the course of a few weeks- I’ll go as far as to write it down.
The bar usually stops there.
But then, every once in a blue moon, an idea will pop into my head that I just can’t seem to get rid of. I’ll write it down but then different scene sequences and character details will keep invading my mind until the little story blurb I wrote down begins to grow. I add details as they come- scenes, bits of dialogue, supporting characters...until I’m pretty sure I’ve got enough material for a rough outline.
I plan the plot, add what I’ve come up with so far and brainstorm the rest.
Then I start writing.
Of course- the manuscript inevitably takes on a mind of its own from there. Sometimes I’m able to stick to the basic plot outline- sometimes the plot changes as new twists and turns present themselves, surprising me as though I were reading the book rather than writing it.
But the point is- I never brainstorm story ideas. I write what I feel like reading when I feel like reading it- and so far the hot thrill of creating something from nothing always gets me through the process.
I’m writing this now because I was surprised this week with...an idea. It’s one of ‘those’ ideas. One of the ones I know isn’t going to go away until I write it and I’m excited about it! What caught me off-guard, though, is that after I wrote and began querying FOSSEGRIM, I went through a six month drought. I couldn’t write for the life of me- the querying process just sucked all my hope and creative energy down the drain.
Which is why I’m really surprised by the rapidly growing book idea that’s haunting my days and nights. I just finished KISSING FOR COFFEE in June and began querying it in August. I was almost looking forward to a break between books and figured my creative juices would take awhile to restock.
Alas, this book – another Romantic Comedy with a Paranormal twist- is demanding some attention.
Which is why I’m thinking it might be a good time to give the National Novel Writing Month of November (NaNoWriMo) a shot. I’ve always been too terrified to try. But I figure the book idea is here and raring to go- What have I got to lose? (besides time for sleeping, eating, thinking, and perhaps a good part of my sanity)
Anybody ever attempt NaNoWriMo? Any advice? How do you usually decide which ideas will become full-blown novels?