Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Really, it's just like knitting ...

Blue sky thinking?
If you want to wind a writer up, there's a good chance that you can do it by asking us where we get our inspiration. Not all of us, of course, but quite a few. It rattles our cages, because very often we don't know. It just happens. In my case odds and ends of ideas float around aimlessly, with no indication of where they might go, and then they combine with something else and I weave the threads together, and they start having a life. A bit like knitting - except that I can't knit.

I'm not doing a lot of writing at the moment, but I am thinking. I have a series sloshing about that keeps moving itself back. I had a three book sequence planned, then I had an idea that would come before them. Fine, no problem, start there. I have hero, heroine, plot, setting, villain - all the right ingredients for a book, but it also has a back story. So - is the back story a novella in it's own right? Possibly. So that should be written first? But does the whole thing really start there?

I've been jumping back and back with it, and sideways, as something else started to stir, with the result that I had two stories that came off the same back story - and I didn't really have the back story- only the plot, which is not quite the same thing. Have I confused you yet? No? Good.

I was peering into the mist, looking for this first story that would start the whole thing, feeling that I couldn't progress with either of the other two until I had sorted it out. Not really a problem, as I have a stand alone that I have partly written that I will go back to once I start writing again, but it is nice to know what might be in the pipeline. And thinking is like research, a feeling of doing something without the hard work of putting the words on the paper.

The blank when I tried to identify what might be the start point was very dispiriting though - it was just a blank. And then, suddenly there it was. The two stories did not have to be side by side. One of them could be the that elusive back story. I haven't figured out the nitty gritty yet, but I think it is going to work.

Where did that come from? No idea. Why didn't I see it before? No idea about that, either. It's all a mystery.

Thinking time is actually very important to me. I work out a lot of stuff in my head before I get round to actually writing. I realised only recently that in another book, also swimming in the mental soup, the villain has been showing me a dislike of animals which bordered on fear, that I hadn't picked up. A lot of pieces of the story fell into place at that point. I already knew that various animals would be instrumental in the story and that one in particular would help to bring the villain down, but I hadn't realised how significant that could be. That is is going to be really useful and already has my mind churning. A triumph of thinking time. Now it has to be written.

One day ...

No comments:

Post a Comment