1 Bunch Ideas, 2 Shakes Dreams, A Pinch of Luck, Simmer For 30 Days

Awesome Stew by Timothy Tsui (CC)


The start of a new novel always seems strange to me,  a little like magic. I don’t even know how to track this sort of work, but it’s work, and necessary.  To the outside world, it probably looks like I’m just sitting on my couch sewing all day, or just staring out the window, but it’s still work, I tell you. My unconscious is raving on at full speed, working through a few ideas to see what becomes of them.

Some ideas are sticking, fully flavored notes in this brew, but others have been cannibalized or discarded.  Maybe those ideas are still there, but are just too subtle to pick out. I don’t know. I’m not even sure that this idea is novel sized, but I have a good hunch it is.

I’m not sure if I need to do more prep work, but at some point I’ll just have to make that leap of faith, and see if this idea can sustain me for 100k-words. With a little luck, the ideas will start to gel and snowball, but for now, I still don’t know what it’s going to turn into. Is it going to be tasty? Have I added enough bones?

This time I’m trying something different as well. I may not have a fully fleshed story, but I already have a query written up. I’ve thought of the hook before the plot. It may help me focus a little better. I wonder if that will make this process any easier, or just… different.

In other news, I’ve shoved three short stories out the door, and it feels good to be on the submission rounds again 🙂

Where are you at with your writing these days?

13 Comments to “1 Bunch Ideas, 2 Shakes Dreams, A Pinch of Luck, Simmer For 30 Days”

  1. “I wonder if that will make this process any easier, or just… different.”

    Lol my bet is on different, because I’m beginning to realize/suspect that there’s no such thing as easy when it comes to this. 😛

    Me? I’m editing my manuscript, veeeeery slowly. (But very thoroughly, I think/hope.)

      1. In other news: Congrats on getting those shorts out the door! Awesome.

        And something I think I’ve learned about writing, recently: if you think it’s a novel-length idea, it probably is a novel-length idea, because your interest in it and passion for it will allow it to grow to fill your own expectation for it.

  2. “Magic” is the perfect way to describe it. I’m in the same place you are – fleshing out a new book – and having such a blast with it. A few more days and I think I’ll have enough to dive in!

    Good luck with this new journey of yours. Your recipe for it sounds like one for great success! 🙂

  3. I know what you mean about the (apparently) staring-into-space part. You probably look very relaxed, other than the steam coming out of your ears. 🙂

    I never get quite that “launching myself into the infinite” feeling, though, since I always know who I’m going to be writing about. I just don’t know what they’re going to be doing.

    I’ve been toying with two new ideas — a new mystery story and a sequel to Stevie One. Then I realized I could cannibalize a few parts from each, combined with a few things from my second novel, and make a better story…

    1. I wish someone could see the steam! Sometimes it gives me a headache. Ideas can be unruly, and they don’t like to listen to you. It’s like herding cats hehe

      And hmm! That is always a good thing to realize. Good luck with the new story!

  4. Eric W

    Coming up with ideas for a whole new novel? I remember that phase. Don’t tempt me.

    >>Where are you at with your writing these days?

    Still in Act One of the first book of the planned trilogy. Yes, that far along.

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