Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Working on Ideas

Developing an idea for a new book is both the most exciting and most terrifying part of the writing process for me. Not quite as bad as going on submission, but close.

Since I started writing in the urban fantasy/sci fi world I tend to come up with the concept first, then the characters, then I often have to change the concept to fit my characters, or vice versa, a few times before I start to think I have something. Then part way through writing the book or even during revisions I usually realize I missed some great opportunity and have to rethink it all.

I wish I could be more efficient than this, but I'm not. And I also wish I were more open to other people's ideas at this early stage. I really wish I were. But I'm not. I feel like it would really help me, but for whatever reason as much as I want to get other people's thoughts, as much as I want to bash around ideas with someone else, it never works.

Poor Molly tried to talk about my latest shiny idea last weekend (at my invitation) and then I rudely shut her down. I need to learn this about myself. Cannot listen to other people's take on my ideas until I know what *my* take is. At that point I'm okay if someone else's idea is better (which it usually is) but I need to think it through first. And I'm terrible at articulating my ideas when I'm at this stage. Everything that sounds good in my head starts to sound stupid as it's hitting my tongue. I need to write it down, not say it.

Speaking of process, yesterday I blogged about the process of updating traditional fairy tales and coming up with the structure for the reader interaction for my Twisted Tales series at the Indigo Teen Blog. Here's the link if you're interested.

I was pretty excited when they invited me to do this blog. For those of you not living in Canada, Indigo is the largest (really only since they own the other two) national bookstore chain in Canada.

On a totally different topic. Has anyone else seen The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills? Hilarious. Scary. Cannot look away. I have avoided getting sucked into any of those other Housewife shows (the women are so horrible) and they are mostly horrible on the Beverly Hills one, too, but I got sucked in when I recognized one of the women as a former child actress who did tons of Disney movies when I was a kid. (Kim Richards) After Jodie Foster, this girl was the next most famous of the young Disney actors of that era, from what I can remember. And boy, is she a messed up mass of nerves now...

But the really obnoxious one is Kelsey Grammer's wife. She alternates between bragging about how rich she is or how hot she is, talking about how hard she works (while being seen doing nothing), name-dropping her husband's name, then getting angry that people don't recognize she has any value beyond being married to a famous rich actor. Oh, and I did I mention she has four full time nannies for her two kids? Sinead will love that one. Really, their lives are so similar they could be best friends. (not)


Stephanie Doyle said...

Oh the "Real" Housewives. I also try to look away. But sometimes I'm just flippin away and and all it takes is that one stop to get sucked in.

One of them likes to refer to herself as her husband's accessory. And I think - what kind of life is that? What makes the $ worth being that person.

Which really is the point of the show. To show everyone else that despite looks and money - our lives are better because they are truly "real"

Fascinating stuff.

Good luck with your new idea Maureen.

Molly O'Keefe said...

Ha! I didn't feel shut down - you need to just tell me to shut up. I loooooooooooooooooooove brainstorming other people's ideas, I really do. And moreover, I looooooooooooooooooooove when people figure out my books for me.

The last two weeks I have put together two synopsis for new books. One was supposed to be short and turned into 8 pages. I hate synopsis. Hate them. They hurt my brain. Coming up with an idea is fun, poking holes at it to see what works - isn't bad either. Writing all of it down - hate it.

Eileen said...

Oh, Molly, please please please can you fly out here to Cali and help me with this book. I've got about five different concepts all floating around and refusing to get nailed down. I'm pretty sure they'll all end up twining around each other somehow and someway, but I need some help with the connections. :-)

Maureen, there is a point where I can't take others' input either. I argue and rail against every suggestion, even the ones I've asked for. It's just a point in the process.

Sinead M said...

It's tricky the brainstorming process. I'm protective of my ideas, as you well know, until after I've written some of it.

And no, never seen the Real Housewives and trying really hard to maintain that....

I suspect, I might hate them all.

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