In the last year, while not working on other projects, I’ve researched, tinkered, and thought a lot about a new novel idea. The first whiff of it came to me when I read You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory Is Mostly Fiction, and 46 Other Ways You’re Deluding Yourself quickly followed by You Are Now Less Dumb: How to Conquer Mob Mentality, How to Buy Happiness, and All the Other Ways to Outsmart Yourself.
Looking at those titles even now, if feels so obvious what this new idea of mine is about. Human nature. Holding on to things that may not serve us or even be true or right. But it’s more than that. I can’t think of these books and not imagine that everyone reading this post now knows the exact circumstance of my new idea and particularly the type of character these books brought to mind. That’s the beauty of the imagination, though. We can be exposed to the same material and end up in an entirely different place.
Two weeks ago I pulled Writing the Breakout Novel off my shelf, thinking I’d poke around in it a bit. It hasn’t been since the first stirrings of Blue Birds that I’ve read it (I found all sorts of highlights that point toward the book Blue Birds became). What started as a casual skim became a solid re-read. I always need brushing up on that thing called plot and — who am I kidding — all the other stuff that makes a compelling novel. (More than once while reading it I’ve thought “That’s what my editor was trying to tell me in my last editorial letter!”)
This time through Breakout Novel is speaking to me in an entirely different way. Because my ideas are different this time around.
That’s the beauty of the imagination. We can be exposed to the same material and end up in an entirely different place.
Linda Mitchell says
I just want to give you a thumbs up……so nice to see you have an idea. I seem to be stuck for them in these last months of school. Teaching, getting ready for testing, tending to my own children has zapped me. My friend Wendy jokingly referred to May as a Muse killer for Teacher Writers. I’m starting to agree. I will live vicariously through you!
And I in turn have to praise you. It is HARD to write and teach. I found I was only able to truly write during days off. Otherwise it was some light editing. I gave so much of my creativity to my students (which was absolutely right) that I had nothing left over.
Summer is almost here. Whatever is bubbling under the surface, even if you don’t yet know if it’s existence, it will come to light when ready.
Dana Kumerow says
When I was a teacher it took me at least 2 solid weeks of summer vacation before I could write, I spent lots of time sitting on my porch staring into the trees. After that I was recovered and able to produce something. I did NANOWRIMO Summer Camp one year after I let myself “drift” for those 2 weeks. I got @ 50,00 words in the month of July that year. Of course, I didn’t get to do much with it after that until the next summer rolled around!
Sarah M says
oooh! Looking forward to hearing more…!