Thursday, August 12, 2010

When the Pieces Fall into Place


Sorry it's been so long since my last post, but it seems like things tend to get away from me during the hot summer months.  Luckily, I've still managed to get a fair amount done.  I'm happy to say I've wrapped up edits on my manuscript, Devil on a Sparrow's Wing, and have now moved on to a new story-- a story I'm crazy excited about. 

I had this idea for a story a few years back, but every attempt to write it immediately fizzled out on the page.  I didn't quite know why.  It was a great story idea (No. Really!!), but once I sat down to write it, time and again the words would slow and stop. 

About six months ago, as I started to give the story some more thought.  I knew the idea was a good one, but it was missing something.  I changed the time period from modern day to Victorian.  That certainly helped things, but it was still the same story and I worried that when I sat to write it once again, I would have the same problem. 

Then it came it to me.  As I discussed the storyline with a few critique partners (can NOT live without them!) the story took on a new life, morphing and evolving as the ideas all fell into place to form a new story.  Something unlike anything else out there, though it was an old story told from a different perspective. It still had the original story idea at the heart of it, but with a new twist--an incredible twist!! 

Perhaps my muse had kept me from writing the story all along, knowing it had not yet evolved into what it needed to be.  And this time, when I sat to write it, the words flowed effortlessly.  All the pieces fall into place.

Now granted, this is still the honeymoon stage for me-- the first 10K words are always the easiest and the sweetest.  Just like that first kiss, when everything is new and shiny and exciting.  I'll eventually come down off the clouds around 20K words, but that's ok.  I'm in it for the long haul.

Do you have a method you use to try and brainstorm your story ideas?  For me, jotting down notes helps, but talking and writing out the story concept is where I'm most successful in working things out.

10 comments:

Cheryl said...

I don't recommend my method. I see some scenes in my head, figure out a beginning and ending, and go from there. Unfortunately, it sometimes takes years to percolate in my brain before I even start to put it on paper.

Calista Taylor said...

Cheryl, I usually start with only a seed of an idea and then sit to write, but this story just would not come. Until now. I feel incredibly lucky that I have writer friends that I can talk through ideas with. : )

Jarmara Falconer said...

I normally write my idea out in longhand then build it up as I type it onto my computer.

Calista Taylor said...

Jarmara, I too find writing out my idea with good ole' pen and paper helps with my brainstorming. It just feels more organic to me. However, once I start writing the actual manuscript, I need to do that directly on my laptop.

I couldn't imagine writing out an entire manuscript by hand and then typing it in. I move stuff around and play with it far too much to be able to get it all down on paper and still have it be legible. lol.

Medeia Sharif said...

I write out notes, consolidate them in a notebook or document, think them over, and then create an outline. I rework the outline many times. If something's missing, I leave it alone and come back to it later.

Calista Taylor said...

That's a great method, Medeia. I recently started using Evernote to do something similar. It helps to have everything consolidated in one area.

Jemi Fraser said...

Like Cherly I tend to start with an ending scene & a beginning scene - then I just write :)

I've been thinking about trying to use a very vague outline for the next project but the idea still scares me :)

Calista Taylor said...

I also have a vague outline for my current project due to historic events that occured. I'm kind of liking it, since it gives me a point to write towards. : )

Alexandra Shostak said...

Talking stuff out with people really helps. Sometimes I write notes for myself or TRY to make an outline, but I usually lose half the notes and the outline quickly becomes incoherent and impossible to follow. :-P

Calista Taylor said...

Alexandra, I feel like it's a constantly evolving and changing thing. I don't think I could ever strictly stick to an outline when, for me, so much of writing is organic. I guess that's why it helps to talk it out. : )