March of Ideas

Everyone occasionally has that thought where something pops into their head and they think, “Hey that would make a good movie/tv show/advert/book etc.” Most people then file that idea in a big box marked Imagination’s Home and forget all about it, moving on with their lives or promising that one day they’ll finally write the story/screenplay they always wanted to.

I typed "Gothic Chest" into Google. That was my first mistake. I wish very much that there are things I could un-see.

I’m not sure if the same is for all writers, but for me, I don’t get that luxury of filing things away for future use. I get to think about the idea, to ponder and shape it until it becomes something I can work with. For the most part I love this part of my brain—it’s what allows me to shape my words and worlds into something I can almost feel.

And then there’s the other times.

At the moment, apart from editing CAM, I’ve been writing the second book in the series. Unfortunately my imagination doesn’t seem to care about this at all, because a few weeks ago I got an idea for a story. It was only a glimmer at the time—a tiny fragment of something I thought was quite cool. Over the past two weeks, the idea has tried to muscle its way into my thoughts at every conceivable moment. This includes when I’m working on actually finishing the book I’m meant to be writing.

It happens quite often with me, I’ll be in the middle of one thing and my imagination wants me to do something else. My imagination, you see, is a small puppy that needs constant attention less it start driving me bloody insane. The last time I gave in, it resulted in pages and pages of notes about a second series of books staring someone just coming into their abilities. And the time before that it was a fantasy story.

You trying saying no to this face!

My imagination won’t let it go, so for the passed two weeks I’ve tried to give it the time it clearly craves. And I think the end results will be quite good. It’s certainly not something I ever thought I was going to write, although it will require a lot of research. There’s only one problem; it’s in the same series as CAM, but much further down the line, which means I’ll have my brain telling me to hurry up and write it for the next few years.

The weird thing is, no matter how much I wish my imagination would let me finish what I’m trying to do, I wouldn’t change a thing about it. I love that it forces me to think about ideas outside of what I’m currently involved in. I love that it challenges me. But still, sometimes it’d be nice to have a switch so that I could only concentrate on what I need to get finished. Only sometimes though.

On another matter, I got to see the first draft of the cover for Crimes Against Magic. I was considering showing everyone, but I think I’d rather wait until it’s finished before unveiling it. But it’ll be soon. Very soon. And it’ll be totally worth the wait.

Posted on February 24, 2012, in Crimes Against Magic, Personal, Writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. What’s wrong with that chest? I like it. You were expecting maybe a busty Goth chick in heavy black makeup? Cute puppy, but you know what they say about cute puppies … they grow up … and not into busty Goth chicks, either.

  2. There’s nothing wrong with the chest. But typing Gothic chest into google came up with some very odd stuff.

  3. I think we all have that problem. Our Muses all have ADD. I keep an “ideas” notebook and allow several pages to start fleshing those ideas out and it usually gets it out of the front of my mind long enough to get some work done. Every now and then I’ll think of a new bit and just go add it to the notes. I can’t tell you how many story ideas I have in there right now. WAY too many, that’s for sure. 😉

    Looking forward to the final cover reveal!

  4. It sounds like your way of handling it is working well, though (giving it a little outlet by jotting down what it’s telling you). Maybe you just needed a little creative breather so you can return fresh to your original focus – and it comes with a bonus of new ideas!

  5. Yep, I know the feeling too well. (Although my brain is more like a Kitten in flagpole mode. LOL)

    I have wondered though if perhaps that the idea’s you have are from different muses, gently whispering into your ear. Perhaps they’re all those proverbial devil’s on your shoulder each fighting to get thier idea out (oohh the full on b!tchslap fight that must be happening each day. LOL) But I digress (then again thats not a bad thing. LOL)

    One thing that I use is the voice record function on my MP3 to get it onto something which I then back up onto a memory stick in case of failure. I have a time at least once a month where I get them written down from the recordings and then file in my idea’s box. Its a great way to keep an eye on things and sometimes you’ll find a few that will gel together well for a fuller concept.

    • I like the idea of devils on my shoulder all fighting for attention. The Angel could be the ref. 🙂

      I use evernote quite a bit. It’s good for when I’m on the move and suddenly need to jot something down.

  6. Sounds like you and your mind have fun playing 😉 Puppies do grow up but some of them stay cute and playful but no, unfortunately they don’t turn into busty goth chicks 😦

    I’m still learning how to deal with ideas that come up…i like the notebook idea 🙂

    Cant wait for the unveiling!

    • Notebooks of some sort are a life saver. The most annoying thing is when you’re just about to fall asleep and something pops in your head and you think, “I’ll wait till the morning to jot it down”. But by the morning you always forget what it was!

  7. Hmmm… is it possible to medicate your muse? When writing your ‘time-tabled’ work listen to very formal music, in a room with the curtains closed and all the pictures taken off the walls. Eat nothing but cabbage, sprouts, and beans. Write with the door closed. This thickens the atmosphere and stupefies any errant inspirations.

    When you want to be creative. Windows open. Put up wall posters from as many psychedelic sixties bands as you can find. Eat coffee, stuck to slabs of chocolate with syrup. Music syncopated jazz, or modern orchestral, or ‘We are the Tele-Tubbies’ rave collection. Drink pints of Sunny D and Pepsi Max. When the kids are out, ask your wife to walk around with nothing on, but refuse nuptials until you have written at least thirty separate plot ideas.

    I think this should work.

  8. Thanks, TJ. But after careful consideration, I think we’ll call that plan b. 🙂

  9. As a sidenote, Stephen King has talked a lot about the nagging ideas that won’t go away – and often in the rather direct and chatty language he usually employs (I always loved reading his forewords and afterwords – they were often as entertaining as the stories themselves).

    Back when “Skeleton Crew” came out along with its story “The Ballad of the Flexible Bullet” about tiny fairy creatures called ‘fornits’ that lived in one’s typewriter and helped create works, he wrote this in his “Notes” section of the book:

    “I got to thinking about cannibalism one day – because that’s the sort of thing guys like me sometimes think about – and my muse once more evacuated its magic bowels on my head. I know how gross that sounds, but it’s the best metaphor I know, inelegant or not, and believe me when I tell you I’d give the little Fornit Ex-Lax if he wanted it.”

  10. Fair warning: I’m heading over the UK to kidnap your dog.

    Oh Steve, the same thing happened to me. My next novel is all outlined and ready to roll but then this great idea flashed and stuck, so instead of writing the first, I’m rocking the second.

    Journals are crucial, aren’t they?

    • I wish that was my dog. I’m not allowed a dog until my daughters are a bit older!

      Journals are a life-saver. Somewhere to put notes and ideas is essential for any writer, I think.

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