Maybe it’s all the excitement/stress/ nervousness surrounding the upcoming RWA conference—in less than two weeks!—but my creative brain has been AWOL for the last few, uh, months. Revisions, yes. Coming up with new ideas? Not so much.
I was especially stymied by an idea for the follow-up to BLIND FURY. I wanted to have a log line, three chapters, and an outline ready in case an editor or agent asks, “What else do you have?” Or, “Can you do a series?”
I want to be able to say, “Well, as a matter of fact…”
The problem was that I was trying too hard to shoehorn existing characters into something and killing all of my creative energy. I finally realized that I needed a spark—an opening scene or killer conflict that comes to me as an aha moment—before I worried about who would be in the book. All of my past books have been spark first, then characters, then plot.
Once I flogged myself a few times for abandoning “the formula”, I hashed out a few ideas with a friend and realized I was still working within the constraints of a couple of characters I didn’t really like that much. Good as secondary foils, not so great for hero and heroine.
And then I came up with an opening that I liked. And a log line that needs some work, but is not bad. And then I started writing just to get a feel for the heroine, who is new to me.
Love her already.
Big sigh of relief. I haven’t fleshed it all out yet, but I’m back on track.
At least until next time I derail. 😉
Has your creative side ever taken a powder? How’d you handle it?
(Credit: Free photos from acobox.com)