Saturday, July 23, 2011

Flashes of Inspiration

Last night I was lying in bed thinking about my newest work in progress. I haven't really been stuck, but did get off track a bit with it. I spent all day yesterday trying to figure out where I needed to go before I hit the part where all seems lost. You know, every happy-ever-after story has that toward the end. My how-is-the-main-character-going-to-get-out-of-this? happened way too soon. 

I realized I still had to fill in more story. But I didn't want it to just be scenes that were random. It needed to show the development of the characters. By the time we get to the all-seems-lost part, I want it to be gut wrenching. I want you to be so invested in the main character that you feel for him. Even if you didn't like him in the beginning. And his love interest? Yeah, I want you to be so worried about her that you'll keep turning pages.

So back to last night. I've crawled into bed, snuggled down into the covers, flipped my long hair where it's not bugging me, when all of a sudden, BAM! I'm wide awake thinking about a scene. So I grab my pen and notebook and start writing, in long hand, because hubby is sleeping and I don't want to wake him with the clickitty-click of my laptop. (He can sleep through my pen scratching, but not the keyboard. Go figure). After over 800 words, I know I've got a pretty good roughed out scene.

I turn off the light, snuggle back get the picture, when I get hit with an idea for a whole new story. I really do not have enough lifetimes to write everything going on in my head.


  1. I know the feeling! Great post.

  2. I've had the feeling that the ending is slightly wrong on my WIP, and I got up to finally tackle the dishes that had been piling over the past week. (Please don't think bad of me, but I really couldn't care less about housework when I'm writing.) Anyway, while I was filling the sink with sudsy water to tackle the pans and big bowls that I couldn't squeeze into the dishwasher, I realized what I needed to do to fix the ending. Well, those dishes are now soaking, and I'm at the computer again happily re-typing my last chapter. Our breakthroughs come in unexpected ways. Most of the time I get them when I'm waking up and I'm laying still thinking about my characters and what they would do in whatever situation they get into. Sometimes I wonder if I live vicariously through them when my life seems a little predicable and boring.

    I know what you mean. I believe as long as I can think, I'll have adventures going on in my head, so why not write them down? And if eventually I can get some "pin money" for it, then I'll be a happy woman.

  3. That's awesome. I rely too often on my failing memory when inspiration strikes--even though I bought these little notebooks to keep by my nightstand, purse, and even the bathroom where I get ready for work in the morning.

  4. So true Debra! I think I've done minimal housework this summer since I've had the time free to write.

    Donna, I should use my notebooks more often as well. Would certainly help me keep track of those escaping ideas. I heard of a writer who once had a great idea and couldn't find a piece of paper to write on, so she took off her shoe, pulled out the insole and wrote on that. Don't know that I would be that adventurous.