Tuesday, 11 January 2011

I is for Ideas

Ideas come at the oddest moments, for me, but usually when I’m not focusing on my book. I can be standing as the sink mucking about with the dishes when a random thought will blossom about a character. Writing with hands dripping soap suds across the page can be awkward but necessary as I capture that moment. This week instead of writing a chapter for the novel another short story popped up – ‘The Price of Lipstick!’ and if I allow myself to get frustrated about this intrusion then that might be detrimental, so now I have to redouble my efforts and get back on line with the book.

Driving is the other time I get random ideas. I seem to relax in my car, switch off all the needless chatter, admire the scenery and the next thing I know is I need a lay by… somewhere safe to sit and jot down notes. I have a dear friend, a less able bodied person than I, who claims to write whilst driving her modified van, yikes… I have not resorted to these dangerous methods yet, but who knows a moment may arise in the future when I too can’t afford to let the idea drift away without capturing it and I may do the same! And if you see me approaching your car in the rear view mirror writing, you will know I’ve had a bright idea!

I belong to two writing groups and part of the reason for staying an active member is simple: I love to hear other people’s ideas for stories. I find it fascinating that we can be given a topic and that no two stories written will be close or similar as all of us tackle topics from different angles and different view points. The best one recently that blew me away was titled ‘Moving House’ and the concept was brilliant. It was the house that moved rather than the contents in the removers van… tickled me pink, novel and memorable for all the right reasons.

Today I must revisit a difficult chapter, ‘Boiling Point,’ and revise it, to include more tension or remove parts that don't work. I was quite shocked when one of my ‘critiquers’ asked why my character had not committed a further, more violent act. To say that my ‘gast’ was ‘flabbered,’ would be accurate. I sat stunned. My mind raced. It had taken me weeks of preparation and some considerable research to write this demanding and difficult and pivotal part and I had a reader wanting more nastiness. Wasn’t my guy bad enough already?

I found myself defending Tom. ‘He wasn’t that evil, just a man going off the rails. I don’t want my readers to despise him.’ I said. It was an odd and funny situation to be in. However, I did accept that this chapter needs more sexual tension, so here goes the difficult part two, creating sexual tension…

Help? LOL What am I doing?

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