Wednesday, May 1, 2013


So did you ever come up with an idea for a novel, and you loved the idea, and you thought it could really go somewhere, but something about it just felt wrong? Like, not something small or easy (changing a character's name, or making some tweaks to the plot, etc.). Something BIG. And it's like it's there, just on the edge of your brain, and if you only concentrate hard enough, it'll come to you.

Except you spend hours, days, weeks basically going like this:

And NOTHING! Absolutely nothing. So frustrating. So you put the story aside and you move on. Clearly, it's not going to happen with this one.

So you come up with some other new stories. For some of them, maybe you just write down a few sentences, because all you have is the basic premise. Something to let percolate and come back to later. Others, your brain is absolutely on fire and you write down plot and setting and character studies and maybe even start some chapters. But maybe your heart isn't in it. Because it's not the story you want to write. So you start to act like this:

And you sigh a lot. And you worry that maybe you're going to get frown lines. And then you actually do get worry lines from all the worrying about frown lines. And you have absolutely no idea what you're going to do because everything ever is wrong.

Until you're driving to work one day, listening to the Rock of Ages soundtrack, and suddenly, you're all, "I've just had an apostrophe." And Captain Hook says, "I think you mean an epiphany, Smee." Well, I mean, that was these guys:

But whatever. Same difference. Suddenly, out of nowhere, while you're singing Don't Stop Believing (ironic, I know), you know exactly what was wrong. And you were right. It was a BIG thing. I'm talking you had the entirely wrong person as the main character big. But if you change it...oh, the possibilities! So you write down notes and ideas and bits of dialogue like an absolute mad woman because it's just flooding your brain, and you want to get it all down as quickly as you possibly can. Then you read over everything you just wrote and can't help but go:

Which then makes you think of Doctor Who. Which only makes you even happier. And suddenly, that tarnished, old idea is shiny. Life is shiny.

Okay, I realize I probably got a bit too specific for this to apply to any of you. But, you know, if you take out the odd details, how about then? Ever go from confused and depressed to, "I'm brilliant!" in the space of a moment? Because that is one of my favorite parts of creative writing. That feeling of shiny elation when a plan comes together.


  1. Hehe. Nice. To answer your question, I go in and out of this cycle approximately three to four times a day. Minus the Rock of Ages Soundtrack.

    1. My goodness. That must be utterly exhausting! Also, I'm pretty sure it's also minus the boost of Doctor Who happiness. Since, you know, you're all anti-Doctor. (Boo!)

  2. :) I totally know this feeling (as you have witnessed on many occasions). I can't wait to read your shiny new manuscript!

    1. By the way, I wish I could subscribe to your blog via email. I always forget to check for new updates to my favorite blogs, so I set up a specific email address to subscribe to them all. If you had such an option, I'd never miss another of your lovely updates (hint, hint) :)

    2. Your wish is my command. :) Just added that option (look to the left, below the followers).

      And thank you. I can't wait for you to read it, either, because you're amazing and give me feedback gold. <3

    3. Yay! Now I'm officially following you via email! :D