“Last night, Darth Vader came down from Planet Vulcan and told me that if I didn’t take Lorraine out, that he’d melt my brain.”
Wait…that’s not the George McFly quote I’m looking for…
“What if they didn’t like them? What if they told me I was no good?”
Ah yes, that’s the one. The reason the original George McFly didn’t want anyone to read any of his stories. Well I’m not like that. Not only am I gonna give 26 Miles to the Moon to people to read in the attempt of getting it published, but I’m going to write a second book.
Reasons for writing another novel:
1. I don’t want to be One-Shot Andy. There have been a few things in my life that I’ve done once and then never kept up. This is not going to be one of them.
2. I absolutely loved writing 26 Miles to the Moon. It was fun, it was an incredible journey, and gave me so much as a result of writing it. Why wouldn’t I want to do it again?
3. I want to prove that one day I might be able to do this as a career, or at least as a serious hobby. You can’t live off one book, even if it does take off.
4. It’ll keep me busy while I work on getting my first one published.
5. I’m sure I have many more stories to tell.
Sure, it will be time-consuming and hard work just like the first one, but at least I know what to expect now, having written one already.
And that’s when you came up with the idea for the flux capacitor
Where exactly does an idea come from? I’ve started thinking of ideas, which is an enjoyable but strange process. Where do you start? How does a whole story get into your head and then out of it? How can you ever think of whole plot that will last hundreds of pages? I’ve been asked that recently and all I can say is that it’s different for everyone. I start with a seed – an opening line, an idea for a scene or a location, and play around to see if something forms. It’s exciting, but leads you down more dead-ends than a TomTom with Alzheimer’s. Sometimes you have to discard that route and find a new one while other times you may magically create a new road and away you go again.
Last week I went back to basics and actually hand wrote some notes in the very notebook that it all started from, when 26 Miles to the Moon went from some vague ideas of a competition all the way to an outline plan of the whole plot.
It’s kinda like fishing. Lots of ideas out there, all taking little nibbles. Some you grab, then you lose them. But when you find one that you hook into and go for, it’s a thrill. The possibilities are literally endless.
Hey! Now I’ve seen this one…
A dreaded result of coming up with a storyline that suddenly clicks and excites to the point of you saying, “This it! This is the one!” is when you bound up to someone and tell them your idea with a big, satisfied grin…only for them to say, “Oh yeah – that’s like such-and-such.” A quick Google and you find out that someone’s beaten you to it and you feel like you’ve just come up with the blueprints of a wonderful invention called The Wheel. And yes, that has happened to me.
At this point, you have three options:
1) Thank your bastard friend for ruining your life, go out and get hideously drunk and pray that you’ll wake up the next day having scribbled a fantastic, original, new idea in your inebriated state. (And not thrown up in the sink).
2) Thank your wonderful friend for saving you months of wasted work, go home and cry silently, file the idea away and get out a pad and pen and start again.
3) Thank your smart arse friend for their concern, but rapidly back-pedal and say it’s not really like that other book, before rushing home, keeping the base concept and seeing where else you can take the idea that maybe is original.
What are you looking at, butthead?
Look all you want – I’ll blog about my progress, so you can see how the process works for me. Even if no-one reads this blog, as least it’ll be a record for me to look back on.
So what’s come out of my brain so far?
I have two ideas; one is just an opening scene which I’m confident will be fantastic and hook the reader straight away. Thing is…then what? Where do I go with it? I have ideas for a couple of locations but that’s it so far. I need a goal, a theme and a whole lot of substance.
The second idea was one I thought of whilst running yesterday. A concept born from a few stolen words I heard from two women walking by. Isn’t that cool? Knowing that everyday life might gift you a spark for your next book at any moment. The idea that came is fairly sound, has a lot of potential but no substance just yet. It hasn’t grabbed me though, isn’t as exciting as Idea 1’s opening scene that’s crying out to be written. But hang on…maybe if I combined the two…
So you can see it’s started. Last time, I had every waking moment free to construct my story and three weeks later it was ready to write. This time, I have full-time job, a wedding to plan and another book to edit, so I can’t just lock myself away and devote myself to it. But I can make time here and there, and there’s always the long time pounding the pavements to foster any emerging ideas. And now that the footy season is almost over – and with no Olympics or international football tournament to distract me – I have no excuse but to get something sorted.
Book 2 here I come…