I’m working on some new story ideas right now. It’s an exciting time. I’m totally blissed out. I’m in the creative zone, tossing off demo versions of witty repartee for my characters, envisioning juicy plot complications for them, and becoming deeply impressed with my own sparkling writer-style mad skillz.
No wait! I can’t lie to you. That’s not entirely true. New-idea-brainstorming time (aka NIB) is actually a scary time. And a thrilling time. What NIB most reminds me of is when I was a kid learning to roller skate. Everyone else made it look SO easy. They cruised around the roller rink, looking tres cool…sometimes even going backwards. They made it look so simple, in fact, that pretty soon I strapped on a pair of roller skates myself and–with a big grin on my face–clump-clopped my way to the crowded rink floor…
…where I immediately splatted butt-first, then wobbled like crazy, and very quickly realized that the only way to stop was to crash headfirst into the wall beside the snack bar. Ugh. Skating was not as easy as it looked.
Neither is coming up with new ideas. Or, more accurately, good and complete new ideas during NIB time. Transitory flashes of inspiration? I’ve got a million of those. I’ve got files, notebooks, scribbled notes and (lately) a personal wiki devoted to those tantalizing it-might-be-a-book story ideas. But fleshed-out scenarios with interesting characters and the sort of comedic premise I love? Not so much. Those take work, and that means sitting down and writing. Plain and simple.
My brain doesn’t turn on until I get near a pen and paper. All my synopses are written in longhand first–a weird and inconvenient quirk, akin to using your new Kitchenaid coffee grinder to wallop whole beans by hand until they’re suitable for making a nice latte, instead of putting in the beans and buzzing them into powdery oblivion like a normal person. But as you’ve probably guessed by now, writers don’t always behave like normal people. Sometimes we do things the hard way.
Will I come up with an idea I love? YES. No question. Partly because I do love to write books. It’s my passion, my dream, all I ever wanted to do when I grew up. So there’s no way I’m letting a teeny, insignificant thing like the challenge of it keep me down. Even if there aren’t baskets of gigantic cupcakes at the end of the road, like I sometimes wish there were.
So stay tuned! I’ve got several ideas down already, with a few more to go. Which ones will (eventually) make it into print? It’s anybody’s guess!
Okay. You got me again. Actually it’s all my editor’s decision. Please send helpful karmic vibes toward NYC!