Monday, January 30, 2012

When Lightning Strikes

Good morning.


I got my crits back for THE DUKE'S DIVORCE and they weren't that bad. Like I said the other day, I've been working on my writing and self-editing skills over the course of the last few years, so everything is more or less really tight when I hand it off. I'm really proud of that about me. It also gives the critters less to have to correct.

However, during the course of the week I waited (yeah, only a week, how fab are my critters -- LOVE THEM!) I was restless. I was so used to writing every day, now I didn't have anything to write. I wrote up some blog posts, I took another look at THE LADY'S MASQUERADE but decided that needed too much work to get into before diving back into DIVORCE, so I put it away again.

I was itchy. I wanted to write something NEW. But I had nothing. No new characters, no new plot lines. Nothing "spoke" to me. So I figured, well I may as well enjoy the silence and clean my house.

No sooner had I switched off my brain, I was driving to the grocery store and BLAM, out of the blue, I had an idea. Not just any idea mind you, but a BRILLIANT idea! And not just an "idea" but the whole concept of the story, start to finish. And not just the beginning, middle, and end, but everything in between.

And so I began writing. And I couldn't stop. In a couple of hours I had about 3,000 words. It's just a short story, so I hope to have it finished by the end of the week, which means THE DUKE'S DIVORCE is going to have to wait.

Tell me -- Do you ever get caught up in a Shiny New Idea to the exclusion of everything else? Or do you jot notes down and put it away for later?

Oh, and on Friday I have the fabulous Alex J. Cavanaugh here at the Grille for an interview about his writing process for his new release CassaFire. Hope you'll stop by!

32 comments:

Elaine AM Smith said...

I'm glad you're pleased with how DIVORCE is going. Don't you let SHINY take up all your time. Maybe after a few bites of sensible chewing over your wip you can treat yourself to a slick of your delicious new treat ;)

Writer Pat Newcombe said...

Yes - I do get caught up in new stuff - quite easily actually... Then I have to make an effort to get back to the hard grind stuff!
Good luck with the shiny story!

Anne Gallagher said...

Elaine -- So funny, believe it or not I worked on it all weekend and am almost done.

Pat -- I think we share the same reasoning on SNI. I just don't want to revise TDD again.

Laura Pauling said...

I try to balance it when I have more than one story idea. Or if it's a whole novel I take a couple days to flesh out the idea to write later.

Linda G. said...

If the idea is powerful enough, I just ride the wave. That kind of energy is too good to risk losing it.

Jennifer Shirk said...

I think the best stories are the ones that aren't forced but just "hit" you. I love when that happens!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

No but I wish more ideas would hit me!

Anne Gallagher said...

Laura -- Yeah the novel ideas I usually flesh out, but this was a short story and I just had to get it down before I forgot it.

Linda -- Riding the wave for all it's worth.

Jennifer -- This one smacked me upside the head so hard I forgot half the stuff I went to the grocery for.

Alex -- They'll come when you least expect it.

Rula Sinara said...

I love it when that happens. It happened to me this weekend right after a shower. I have to jot notes or I'll forget, so I keep a note pad everywhere.

Bish Denham said...

That's one of my "problems" if you can call it that. I'm all about shine new ideas almost to the exclusion of revising, rewriting. But I'm getting better about it!

Still it hard...oh my, what's that? Why, is that an idea I see peeking out from under that pile of paper? Must go investigate...

Matthew MacNish said...

I wish I could get idea like that. My mind won't let me think about anything but the story in front of me.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Don't keep us in suspense. Did you manage to clean the house????

The SNI syndrome happens to me too. I embrace it. :D

Sarah Pearson said...

Glad things are going well for you. And oh yes, I suffer badly from SNI syndrome!

Angie Paxton said...

I'm glad you don't have too much to revise on The Duke's Divorce. I'm very prone to SNI syndrome, but I myself am a note jotter if I'm in the middle of something else. If not, then I embrace SNI with both arms and cling on for as long as I can.

Patti said...

I do get caught up in other ideas, which is good when my original ideas aren't cooperating.

Lydia Kang said...

Sometimes it the most mindless tasks that bring about the most brilliant ideas!

Stephen Tremp said...

I like to jot stuff down, let it simmer for a while, then come back to it. I tend to stay away from shiny objects as they often fade so quickly.

DL Hammons said...

I have always been disciplined enough to resist the shiny new idea's and simply jot them down in my notebooks for future use. I keep my writing skills honed by writing short stories while I'm waiting to make the next round of revisions to my novel. What can i say, I'm a one major project at a time time of guy! :)

Carol Kilgore said...

If I'm not involved with something else, I'm all over Shiny New Idea. Otherwise, I make notes.

Sarah Ahiers said...

i'm usually good about manhandling things aside until i'm ready for them. Mostly because i know if i don't sit on them, they can't grow like they need too.

Len Lambert said...

Congratulations on having The Duke's Divorced critiqued :) Happy for you! :)

I have two more story ideas which just came while I'm writing my current WIP. I've outlined both stories. I will go back to them when I'm ready :)

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

It usually takes me such an inordinate amount of time to complete one project to my satisfaction, I rarely let myself be enticed by a shiny new idea. Doesn't mean it never happens, though. Kinda like having a whirlwind fling before going back to the committed relationship.

Victoryperfect said...

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Donna Hole said...

Yeah, I've had shiny new ideas creep up and settle in. I love it when that happens.

Have fun with your new idea :)

......dhole

Susan Fields said...

Hooray for your shiny new idea! It doesn't usually work that way for me, though I wish it did!

Ann Best said...

How exciting, Anne! Hooray for you sitting down and writing, writing, writing. That's the only way not to lose it all.

I've sometimes in my life had this happen. Once while I was lightly jogging around and around in a circle in the townhouse where I was living at the time, a "story" fell into my mind. Usually, though, it's plodding along, like you were doing before you were "struck by lightning." BTW, that is a stunning photograph. I love it!
Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror & Other Memoirs

Eric W. Trant said...

I can only write one story at a time. In fact, I program, too, and when I program, I can't write.

So I have to choose carefully what my next project will be, and how important it is when compared against the other projects. I wish I could say that money was no object, but the programming brings in cash that the writing does not (yet).

I am hopefully between programming jobs and have a few weeks of slow-time to get some writing done. I have a story I keep start-stopping, and I need to get beyond that first scene and crank out another novel!


- Eric

Elana Johnson said...

I used to be able to work on my SNI's, but I can't anymore. Usually, when I'm in the middle of a shiny thing, I'll have to stop to do edits or read pages or meet a deadline.

So I take notes -- usually in the form of an email to myself -- and come back to the shiny when I have time.

Julie Musil said...

Holy cow, that's awesome! I can't believe you banged out that many words that quickly, all when you weren't even expecting it. Amazing.

Rebecca Kiel said...

Jot it and put it away. If its really good, I find myself jotting lots of notes and filing them away. Then I come out of the gate racing.

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

When I do something, I'm INVOLVED, so yeah, I get caught up. :)

Char said...

*sigh* My shiny new ideas usually get tossed into the notes pile so I can keep plugging away on my current project. My 'notes' are often written on my iPhone - I email them to myself then import them into a document.

I did take a 4 week break when I finished the 1st draft of my novel and worked on a short story. I'm doing some additional background research for that now, thinking I could get a series of shorts out of it. But I've started to revise the novel now, so the shorts are on the back burner.