I’ll be referencing three people in this post and I don’t have the brain spoons to go locate links, but guess what? They’re in my blog roll. Ha! Sooo, if you’re curious, scroll down and find Joni, Stormcrow and Scott Westerfeld. I think Scott’s blog is ‘Wester blog’. Ok, got my plugs in, kinda.
Joni, who I always call JayNoi, inspired me a long time ago to think about writing. She posts writing tips quite often on her blog and she got me in to that free writing course I took. During that course, I developed two characters, a plot and a few settings. I got so excited about the story that I’d just open up a text document and start brainstorming. I wrote scenes for the class. I had dialogue. I had conflict. I explored the senses. I had the general idea of what I wanted to write and I thought it was pretty cool. I got pretty good feedback in the class and the two friends I shared the ideas with thought it was awesome.
The ideas for the novel were inspired after I read ‘Uglies’ by Scott Westerfeld. Stormcrow had reviewed the audio book on his blog and after I read it, I had to download the book. I was instantly hooked and promptly read ‘Pretties’ and ‘Specials’. The creative freedom Westerfeld had by choosing to write in the future is what really excited me. So I decided that’s what I’d do and the few scenes I wrote were set in the future. I also picked a genre I was really familiar with. Crime. I had read a lot of crime novels. James Patterson, Patricia Cornwell and several others who lived in my mystery box of audio books. I loved crime novels, so of course that’s what I’d write. Right? Hmmm.
After I finished the writing course, I tried sitting down and working on my new story idea with my characters living in my brain patiently waiting to be born into the story.
I struggled with how to start the novel. I wrote a prelude to explain the futuristic ideas. I started with a plane ride for my main character. As if the plane crashed before reaching its destination, so went the novel. I never went back to it. Suddenly the thought of trying to figure out the crimes, the crime scenes, the forensics and the Bureaucracy all mixed with the idiosyncrasies of my characters became so overwhelming that I basically put the laptop in the freezer and ran screaming.
The idea to write a novel has never left me however, especially the more books I read. I find that if the book is really good I’ll restart it and really pay attention to the details now that I know the story. I’ll make a mental note of how something was described, or how a few words in a dialogue made me feel, how a character seemed to reach in to my soul and remind me of something I experienced years ago.
Are these crime novels I’m talking about? No. They are books for teens. Scott Westerfeld’s books to be exact.
A few nights ago I googled him and discovered his blog. I read through a comment thread at what the teens were saying and I loved their enthusiasm! I started finding youtube videos of Scott and I believe it was in one of these where he talked about how exciting it is to write for teens. I was inspired. I realized that I don’t even enjoy reading crime novels anymore. Why would I want to write one?
What if I plucked my main character out of her FBI roll and made her a high school student? Why not just create a new character? Well because I love her. I created her. I love her name. I love who she is. I want to explore who she is as a sixteen year old.
So my possible novel idea has taken on a whole new timeline and plot. It’s all changed except for her. The chaos I created for the crime novel is being completely and totally transformed into a new chaos, one I truly understand. Instead of opening up a document and brainstorming, I opened up a document and wrote the opening scene. I’m letting the ideas stay marinating in my brain, waiting for me to pluck a piece out and taste it, see if its ready, decide whether to throw it in the story yet or let it simmer.
I already made the mistake of going back and re-reading and fixing typos. Arg, don’t do that! Just write it, Ro. Get it out there.
We’ll see what happens. I think my character is excited. I feel it. She’s found her place and it’s much more comfortable than the last one. Maybe this time next year I’ll be looking in to how to find an editor. You never know, right?