Monday, March 4, 2013

A Change of Plans



So I started this March Madness thing with ONE book I intended to write... and I wrote Friday, and I wrote Saturday. And I found I was even boring MYSELF trying to force this thing out... I've come to the conclusion it just really needs a lot more stewing than it's had.

Flathead Lake, Montana (my setting)
What is this STEW I speak of?

This is normal for me. I have ideas with some regularity. In fact I put all those ideas in a spread sheet last week, and in addition to the five 'I will write this book' ideas I had on my writing project list, I had another thirty ideas written in some detail, about half of which I think are viable writing projects. But the ideas that work BEST are ideas I have that rattle around in my head a while, then marry new ideas, and sometimes even MORE ideas, until suddenly I have a nice, happily complex plan.

So after forcing out 5000 words of Shooter (which will be named something else), I decided to go with the one I felt compelled to start last week that has been niggling my brain for almost two years now.

Has anyone seen this?
Behind Endangered

Some of you may have heard me talk about the Tomorrow book series by James Marsden. It begins with Tomorrow When the War Began and is about a group of Australian teens who go camping when school gets out... and when they come home, their home town (all of Australia, actually) has been invaded. They become secret guerilla warriors fighting against the (always unnamed, but foreign) invaders. The series caused me to have vivid dreams and my imagination was captivated by the idea of something in the US with similar flavors since then. (and this was before I was even actively writing)--I'd love to see the movie version of this—or is it a TV series? Has anyone seen it?

The next piece of the puzzle happened when my husband was working in his home health job. We only had one car, and he worked 12 hour days... and on the weekend, I definitely didn't want to get up and take him at 7 am, so I was walking to pick up the car at about ten in the morning and a helicopter went over. We normally see the Michigan Life Flight helicopters with some regularity, but other than that, they are a game day only kind of thing. This isn't Portland where every news station has it's own hovering a couple times a day. We're a suburb where it just isn't that common. It was a little weird... I felt very exposed, and I got home and write the first chapter of this book... I knew I wasn't going to write any MORE of it for a while, but I had a flavor... a set up... a feeling of what the first moments would be like if we were invaded.

The book went on my list of possible options, but I kept feeling like I really needed more to it. I wasn't ready for the story... and then last weekend I had one of those wacky dreams that get the ball rolling. By the time I was out of the shower I realized it was a second strand to THIS story, so I came down and got on the computer and started it... Then in my files of potential stories, I found my third strand.

So now I have three primary characters (two of them with siblings), all of whom will meet up in the mountains of Montana by Flathead Lake... and will need to be warriors of sorts (mountain guerillas--see there is the play on words that gets me to 'endangered'), in this brave new world. I don't have my ending yet, which makes me a little nervous. I definitely prefer to know how the story ends, or I can end up with a big floppy thing to sort out, but I will try to put in my thought on that early this month so I figure it out before I get there.


Ted Cross said...

I write the same way. I let story ideas percolate in my head for ages, sometimes for many years, until they group together with enough other ideas that I finally feel there is a whole story there!

Old Kitty said...

Hope you get a most NAKED ending all sorted out asap!! Good for you! Great to see your creative juices flowing!!
Ahem!! Take care

Ermie said...

It's great when an idea comes together like this. Hope it goes well and that you manage to figure out the ending. :-)

Diana Wilder said...

What a feeling of joy you must be having - joyous, energized, just bubbling over with thoughts, scenes, descriptions! Great news! (It's good to have a new baby on the way and to know that it's there to be tweaked...Or do I really want to use that notion with that of a baby? Ack! Well, it's Monday morning. Sheesh.) I'm happy for you!

Teresa Coltrin said...

I'm getting that book. Sounds like something i would like.

That DOES happen. You think you're writing day is planned and then wham another idea tempts you to pay attention to he/she.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Sounds like you got hijacked by a new story! Sounds like a great one, too. You can make it up as you go along...write a few endings, see which you like best! Have a fun March. :)

Al Diaz said...

I sometimes have problems putting my ideas out there in proper order. But it seems you are full of inspiration right now.

That's a wonderful setting you have there, by the way.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I have to toss an idea around in my head for a long time before I write anything on paper.
That book series reminds me of Red Dawn.

Alison DeLuca said...

Stew? I hear you. I did NaNoWriMo a few years ago with a story that I thought had stewed enough. I did the background research, had the characters, the setting...

Oops, forgot I needed story arcs and plot points.

I did my 50K, but looking at the MSS now I can honestly say it's all crap. So, after a year plus of stewing, I'm going back to the pot and doing a total from scratch - startover rewrite.

I'm all about the STEW.

Jan Morrison said...

Yeppur - follow the bliss. You will find your way. It sounds exciting and more importantly YOU sound excited. I look forward to hearing more.

Mark Means said...

Best of luck! I hate when I start writing something and then start yawning at how dull it's coming out.

My "Story Ideas" folder is pretty empty, at the moment, but I hope that changes soon...

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

That sounds really good, Hart. Also, I like how you gave yourself permission to switch over to the new book. I wonder what that helicopter was up too?

One time, we were relaxing at Cougar Hot Springs, and two fighter jets screamed by overhead. Talk about something being out of place!

Hope that you have a great and productive week.

Kathy M.

Yolanda Renee said...

Thanks for the reminder, I'm leaving to go finish my recent 'stew' by putting it on paper!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

It all came together for you.

Jill Haugh said...

Here's for knowing when to fold 'em.
Egad. I've just quoted Kenny Rogers.
Best of Luck Hart, and who knows when the other "boring" story might emerge--recharged!
~Just Jill
P.S. I hate starting new projects.

j welling said...

I'm shocked - shocked, I tell you - to hear of a sudden change in direction. I would never have expected that from you.


Helena said...

I'm the same way with stories -- they're in my head for a long time before they come out. Maybe I can start one, but when the full story doesn't come I set it aside until it announces that it's ready to make its real entrance.

Alex mentioned the movie Red Dawn -- Patrick Swayze was in it, but I've never seen it. I think you could use the same idea if you put in twists.