Lately, with all the great ideas my husband and I have come up with from our brainstorming game, I’ve found some shiny new ideas for novels. Not only that, sometimes the ideas fit well with old existing story concepts and rekindle my interest in those projects.
I’m writing them all down for later and sticking to Featherfolk, because I know what happens if I stray down one of those enticing new paths without completing my current project (nothing gets finished).
But my head just feels so crammed full of energy for other projects.
Anyone else feel like this some days?
Also, happy All Hallow’s Eve! Don’t forget the Saints as you devour your loot tomorrow. (Americans sure are good at twisting holidays around.)
On the drive back from a recent weekend adventure, my husband and I invented a new game.
We took turns challenging each other with random elements from fantasy or sci-fi. The object was to come up with a new and interesting way to use it in a story.
Some of the prompts we played with were Werewolves, Tree Spirits, People Living in Caves, and Music as Magic.
When one of us collected a few thoughts on how to use the element in a non-cliché way, we talked it out. Together, we developed it a little further, asking more questions, coming up with possible plots and sources of conflict. When we ran out of ideas for that prompt, we moved on.
We actually invented some pretty awesome stuff that I jotted down for possible use later.
Like, “Werewolves: They’re not human and never were. They’re a race of shapeshifters, wolf-like in appearance, whose power is tied to the sun and moon. So when the moon is near the sun and “new” they can shift into anything. As the moon gets fuller and farther from the sun, they have a harder time maintaining anything but their own shape.”
I don’t know if anyone has done werewolves that way before, but I’d read it.
I highly recommend this as a way to flex creative muscles and just play with stories.
While Raven is stepping out on submission, I’ve decided to turn my efforts to his sequel, Gwenolwyn and the Crystal Vault. This was my NaNoWriMo project last November, and while I “won” NaNo by hitting 50,000 words, I have not finished the first draft of Gwen’s story.
In addition, I sort of went off the rails around 30,000 words and most of what followed will need to be scrapped.
So where to start?
I’m starting by stepping back and deciding what story I want to tell.
I’m brainstorming. I’m letting go of what the manuscript is and looking at what it could be. Once I figure that out, I’ll pick up roughly where I left off, but tell the story as it should have been. When I reach the end, I’ll go back and retell the beginning until I meet myself in the middle. (Hey, it worked for Raven.)
I’m not worrying about how much work it will take to incorporate some of the ideas I’ve come up with. After all, watering a live plant is much more productive than watering a dead one.
Gwen’s story is more complicated than Raven’s. It gets darker. It gets more dangerous. But I want to tell it.
I’ll keep you posted.
P.S. Happy Independence Day! Our country is far from perfect, but it’s the only United States of America we’ve got.