Monday, March 9, 2009

Bubbles, Bubbles, But Not A Drop To Drink....Yet

Remember that line from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory? Well, I've adapted it to describe my current writing crisis.

"Stories, stories, but not a one to write....yet."

In simple terms, I have a ton of ideas, but I haven't found one to buckle down with yet. I've been talking to friends and family about my series, The Unicorn Queen, and some questions about several of the plots are being raised. Obviously, I have more work to do than I thought.

I also came up with two more story ideas this week. One is a young adult science fiction called, A Moment In Time. Yes, for those wondering, it is a time travel story. It's time travel with adventure, action, and a dash of romance.

Got that? A dash. I don't like to be overly least at this point in my life. :)

I've also got another young adult story idea and this one is probably going to shock you. Why?

Drumroll, please.

It's not science fiction or fantasy.

Yep, it's not genre fiction. The title is The Babysitting Adventures of Beverly Jenkins. I REALLY like this story so far! Maybe it will be the next one to work on. In this field, you never know.....


Anita said...

I love the babysitting brings up all sorts of images, which must be totally different from what you're thinking, but still make me interested in learning more about what you're thinking. Do you know what I mean? Anyway, I think you should get to it.

Madison said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Anita! I'll post more about what the story is really about soon. :)

Carradee said...

I like the babysitting title. I probably wouldn't read it, but I like the title.

I know what you mean about having a ton of ideas, too--I have a myriad, myself. In my case, I'm good at finding these great characters and situations... but oh! Can it be hard to figure out what to do with them!

Hey, thanks for that post, btw. Framing my reply reminded me of a work that should be next on my to-attempt pile, since I've just recently found some software that will make it easier to organize. (It's one of those stories where you know the plot, but you also know that it can't be told chronologically.)

I've found two main things to help me when I'm struggling--okay, three:

Free-associative writing works great for figuring out why things get stuck.

Index cards help a ton with plotting, for me. I write one scene per card, starting with the last scene I wrote, then writing every scene I know is coming, skipping around as I need to. I then organize them in chronological order and see "Okay, if she's terrified he's going to hurt her, then has to trust him to save her from the guy who actually wants to hurt her, what will get her from point A to point B?"

Having a writer friend read your in-progress can help a ton. I have a friend who writes sappy fantasy, whereas I write the dark-but-amusing stuff. She's my reader for a current in-progress work, and her usual sappiness means she's sensitive to when I'm getting too dark. (I return the favor.)

Now, these past few weeks I was stuck on the second half of chapter 10 for a work. Chapter 11's written. I knew there was a reason a particular something happened in the latter half of chapter 10, but I couldn't remember what it was for the life of me--a call to my friend got a possible answer to that question, because she'd read through chapter 8.

She's also a ton of help in general. She can flag problem areas and plot twists before they're even realized. She also likes being a sounding board when I'm trying to figure out which way a plot should go in a particular instance.

I do find it works best to limit yourself to one or two readers of your rough in-progress draft. Otherwise you're dragged too soon in too many directions. But that has helped me avoid rabbit trails and helped unstick me when I have a memory lapse.

And now that I've replied with a far too long comment to your blog post--which I found because you commented on PubRants a few days ago and we have some things in common--I'll shut up now.


Anita said...

Carradee: I can see how the index card thing could work for me. Great suggestion!

Carradee said...

I'm glad that can help you, Anita!

Shanna Swendson (a fun adult fantasy writer) also uses the index cards while editing. She writes a line describing the thrust of each scene to check her plotting. She explains her process here.

Big Plain V said...

Don't even bother yourself with wondering about what's marketable. Write the story you're most excited about because, as I'm sure you've heard before, by the time something becomes a trend in fiction, you're already too late to cash in on it.

Madison said...

Wow. A whole conversation I missed because I had to go clean my room. :(

Carradee, those are some WONDERFUL suggestions! I really like the flash cards and I do have one writer friend who is willing to read all my stories no matter what draft they are on. His help is wonderful!

V, I just haven't found a story to buckle down with. The Babysitting Adventures of Beverly Jenkins might be the one, but I'm a little short on ideas for it. I've got the overall, but the sub plots are the problem right now.

Rebecca Anne said...

I'm out journal link jumping and discovered your blog here~
I had to smile at your entry because I also feel like I'm always floating around with several idea's and getting one of them to stand up and demand my time and words is another doesn't happen as often as I would love.
I have a feeling all this next week I'll have that Willy Wonka quote floating around in my mind as well everytime I'm being hypnotized by the blinking curser~~
I hope one of your idea's rises to the surface for you~

Madison said...

Thanks, Rebecca! :D