When a new story idea strikes, I respond in one of four ways. ONE: I’ll drop everything and work on the new idea. TWO: I’ll jot the ideas in my moleskine for future reference. THREE: I’ll take a one day break, retreat to a garden setting, create a Beat Sheet, and file for later use (think NaNoWriMo 2014). FOUR: I’ll let my mind drift and let the story unfurl. Never write it down. Treasure it as a gift and then set it free.
I love new ideas. New stories are shiny compared to that manuscript going through Revision 144. New stories smell of promise, rose petals, and newly turned earth. Yesterday I thought: I should write a Vampire Romance. This morning I woke with an idea. An excellent idea. Anything else I could do today would pale in comparison with working on this truly stupendous idea. I should drop everything–like editing Chapter 16 of the third Abishag Novel and writing down design ideas for my Abishag cover artist–and work on this story.
The rain comes down in torrents, perfect for letting seeds germinate. I could write the vampire story in unreadable notes in my moleskine, let the molten words flow onto the pages. Her hair is dark like her father’s. He speaks with a slight foreign accent. A scent from her childhood brings back a memory of hiding in shadows and her mother’s murder. I’ll get back to these notes eventually, after the third and fourth Abishag books are published, while beta readers are reviewing the first Missing Child Mystery Jack Fell Down, during the formatting of Fathers in the Moor, and when I finish restructuring Olive Tomorrow. Even if it’s too wet to retreat, I could write the beat sheet today while drinking hot chocolate and listening to the rain while snug in my home. Better than moleskine notes, it would be organized, legible, and outlined from beginning to end.
Or I could lie in bed and watch the story un-scroll. Forget the Netflix DVD on tap tonight. I’d let this story surprise and delight till I drift off. When I wake tomorrow, the story will be gone, but I will remember it as perfect, untrammeled, and sweet.
I promised a friend that I would be disciplined this Saturday and revise two chapters in Riddle in Bones before starting the beat sheet for the vampire romance. Don’t tell her that I looked through old Rhine pictures for my new vampire series and wrote this blog instead.