This week I’ve been going a lot of what Maggie Stiefvater calls caging your plot bunnies (Maggie didn’t make up the phrase, but her entry is a pretty good guide to the process).
I’m getting really close to the end of TE (I’ll be done in mere weeks. Weeks, people!!) and have started thinking about what I might write next. This is a dangerous practice. On the way to work the other day I had the most brilliant, shiny new idea. I’ve had a few of these since starting TE, but most have been set aside until I can figure out how to fix some major plot/research problems. Shiny New Idea (hereby referred to as SNI) has none of these problems, as far as I have discovered. I’ve also been paying a bit more attention to practical things like marketability, something I didn’t think much about when I was first drafting TE. This doesn’t affect the writing so much as help me choose between competing ideas. I figure if I’m going to spend a year plus on a project, it’s worth putting some effort into figuring out whether it is a marketable idea. Diana Peterfreund writes more about it here (in response to a question of mine!).
Anyway, SNI simply sparkles with marketability, in my very biased opinion. I seriously think it is the most original idea I’ve had since TE. Sometimes inspiration just comes out of nowhere. It’s like I have these little people (or perhaps bunnies) in my head whispering fascinating snippets into my mind (yes, I am aware that makes me seem crazy). Was it Stephen King who said he believes stories already exist, and ‘inspiration’ is the process of unearthing these stories, kind of like a fossil you are discovering from the earth? I know if this book sells I’m going to have a hard time with the question "where did you get the idea?". I might have to make something up ;).
So having my SNI jumping around in my head day in day out makes focusing on TE particularly hard. I’m doing my very best to trick my mind into submission by promising I can work on SNI in November, as long as I focus on TE now. Stop talking to me Plot Bunnies! If you’re really good and quiet and I get lots of work on TE done, I may even let you participate in NaNoWriMo.
Yes, I’m lying. TE is close but not that close!
I’ll let you know how I’ve gone with my bunny trapping later in the week. Have a good one!