Thursday, November 30, 2006

Decisions, Decisions...

Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don't quit. — Conrad Hilton

Yesterday was "craft day at Gram's" for my daughter -- this means that I got almost an entire day to myself (Woo!). I planned on editing my WW story, but did some research into the stories they've published lately, painful as that was, and discovered that, without exception, they were all in first person.

Bother.

Massive changes ahead -- which means that it won't be there in time. So, now I'm considering lengthening it, making it better and subbing to The Wild Rose Press in a few months.

I decided instead to edit an existing novel (I have three completed first drafts), but couldn't get up any enthusiasm for the job.

I thought about continuing on my mystery, and did a bit of that, but it just wasn't flowing -- I'd changed the beginning and it made a huge difference in the story (the person I murdered in the original beginning was still alive), but really I like the original one better, so will most likely go back to that, but have to get my brain around it.

So, I tried to brainstorm something new because, dang it all, I wanted to write something. And I came up empty, totally and utterly empty. I panicked -- how can I have nothing? Not a clue, not a character, not a conflict. Nada. YIKES!

My life as an author is over. I have no ideas!

So I did what any panic-stricken author would do. I sat down in front of the TV with a pad of paper and took notes. I was watching The A-Team and paying attention to the little things. I know, I know, it's a flat out silly show but I love it. And I wrote down anything and everything that popped into my brain:

* Orange Soda
* Sisters
* Construction Company

And so on. Then, after doing this for a couple shows, I sat with my paper and tried to incorporate most of what I'd written down into some semblance of an idea. And you know what? I got one.

*big grin*

Guess my life as an author isn't over quite yet. And, as a side benefit, I got to watch two episodes of The A-Team guilt free.

What do you do when you come up empty? Or do you never have that problem?

4 comments:

Tori Lennox said...

I'd never thought of getting story ideas that way. What a cool idea! Usually when I come up empty I just take a short break. I have so many story ideas stockpiled I could always find something to write about. But it doesn't stop me from getting other ideas. :)

anno said...

Just like you, I have to get away from the computer. Unlike you, I don't even try to take notes, though. I usually take a walk, play the piano, fold laundry, do anything I can to invite one of those oblique, flirtatious glances the universe occasionally offers. You can tell when I'm struggling, because my laundry's done and my floors are clean.

Allie Boniface said...

Cool idea! I actually sit someplace quiet and stare at the wall, dong a lot of "what iffing" in my head until things begin to take shape. Honestly, though, most of the time story ideas pop into my head at random moments, and I jot them down and stick them into an ongoing file I have. Every once in a while I open up that file and remind myself what's there.

Carmi said...

When the little voices in my head aren't talking as much as I'd like, I make a mug of tea, then take a walk while it steeps.

Sometimes I take my camera with me and take pictures while I'm wandering. It helps kickstart the creative vibe.

If I'm on deadline, I somehow convince myself to gut it out and just get it done. When the clock is ticking, I somehow always find a way.

First-time visitor/commenter. I'll be back!