Sunday journal ~ Infinite possibilities (Oh, my!)

Inspired. Energised. A wee bit daunted.

That’s how I feel right now. It’s been one of those weekends. A fabulous weekend — don’t mistake me. But my mind is now spinning like a wind wheel.

Colorful wind wheelBright and shiny? Yes. But spinning oh so very fast.

The weekend started with a most satisfactory cafe writing session, with company, eggs, coffee and words. I progressed sedately with my revision. All going to plan, thank you very much.

On Saturday afternoon I celebrated at the launch party for my dear friend Lisa Ireland‘s debut novel — Breaking the Drought (Escape Publishing). I hope to have Lisa visit here in the near future to talk about her book; I am so incredibly pleased for her! It is of course a reminder of what I’m striving for… onwards, onwards.

Then I hung out with another dear friend, fellow fantasy writer and critique partner Tracey Rolfe. Tracey is the one person I have permitted to read the messy first draft of my current WIP — which makes her the ideal person to thrash out ideas with.

And how did we thrash those ideas…

I’ve been working on this novel and the one that is supposed to come after it (but which I wrote first) for quite a while now. This means certain characters, events and plot points are ingrained in my mind. Like stone. Immovable.

Until I remember after a few glasses of wine and a dose of objectivity and cake that these are novels, out of my mind, and anything can happen.

What if X doesn’t die? (I never wanted him to anyway.)
What if Y does this instead of that?
What if… What if… What if… ????

And suddenly there are infinite possibilities as to what could happen after events in the current novel, whereas before it seemed like a foregone conclusion.

Suddenly you have a whole extra novel unfurling. Squeezing itself between novel A and B like an impetuous intruder and a whole lot of work.

Suddenly you feel like you’re at the steering wheel of a ship that can hightail across the ocean to any port you so desire.

But which one? And how exactly do I get there?

Told you! Spinning spinning spinning.

None of this is a foregone conclusion, I hasten to add. I might yet decide that X still has to die and there will be no extra novel between A and B. But it has been liberating and a bunch of fun to wildly brainstorm some alternatives — and wonder about what else these characters could get up to.

For the now the brainstorming and thrashing will continue for a bit, while I figure out whether any of these wild imaginings have merit, or whether they were the product of too much cake.

It’s good to shake things up a bit from time to time, I reckon. (And I console myself with the knowledge that we shook up Tracey’s current WIP as well!)

10 comments

  1. Brainstorming is so much fun, probably my favourite part of the writing process. I always imagine that collaborating with someone on a project is full of the same fun and energy as when you’re brainstorming with them, but I have a sneaky suspicion the reality is very different.

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    1. It’s great to get input from someone who’s familiar with your work, but not invested. That’s what was valuable this weekend, I think. They can suggest things that make you recoil, but they’re only suggestions. A full-on collaboration would be quite different, I think, because both parties would be invested. But I still think it could be potentially very rewarding.

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  2. Indeed, brainstorming is so much fun–until it isn’t. Isn’t is when there are too many ideas–or not enough. Or what seemed genius all at once stares back as something ridiculous. There is so much love/hate in this writing gig that sometimes the whirly twirling brain has me infinitely tangled in a place of restless confusion. Nevertheless, it’s quite clear that my main mistake is attempting to do any serious thinking without wine and cake.

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