With this outline, I thee wed

As I stated in my previous post, I’m in between projects right now. I’m also having a hard time committing to any one idea. I’ve outlined a few here and there, but something keeps stopping me. So I was discussing this with my husband, and he asked me a very interesting question. “If publishing as we know it ended, and you could only write ONE LAST story, what kind of story would that be?”

Needless to say, it got me pondering. It reminded me of the thoughts I had while I was single. “If I have to spend the rest of my life with one guy, what kind of guy do I want him to be?” So, I did what any dreamy eyed fourteen-year-old girl would do. I made a list. The following is a direct quote from my Moleskine:

1.Unique, high concept world

2. Epic in scope
-factions, cultures

3. Strong, intelligent MC

4. Good love story
-semi-tragic?
-at least a star-crossed kinda thing

5. Mountains, oceans/seaside

6. People gotta die

Here’s the thing. I know I can’t sit around and wait for the ULTIMATE, BEST-EVER, ENCOMPASSING-EVERYTHING-INSIDE-MY-SOUL idea. And I probably shouldn’t demand that every novel I pursue have every single element I love. But I think I’ve reached a point where I’m willing to wait for The One.

“The One doesn’t exist!” you say. “Ideas are a dime a dozen!” you say.

Perhaps. But I’m waiting anyway. Because let’s face it, writing/editing a novel takes a long time. Six months, a year, a couple years. That’s a huge commitment, peeps. And it’s HARD! Writing a novel is hard! So I don’t want to put all that time and toil into something unless I truly love it. And I don’t just mean love. I’ve loved all my stories. (We writers tend to love pretty much anything our brilliant, precious brains dream up.)

No, I mean LOVE love. I want to write a book that I’d be okay with accepting as the last book I ever write. (Though in truth, that notion makes me really sad.) I want to write a book that I would be willing to walk down the aisle with. And so I’m not going to write another outline, until I’ve found it. I’m saving myself for book-writing-marriage. I’ll know him/it when I see him/it. 😉

How about you? What would be on your list of The One?

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The Last Book on Earth

As I stated in my previous post, I’m in between projects right now. I’m also having a hard time committing to any one idea. So I was discussing this with my husband, and he asked me a very interesting question. “If publishing as we know it ended, and you could only write ONE LAST story, what kind of story would that be?”

Needless to say, it got me thinking. What would that story be? While pondering this question, I made a list of elements I know my story would have. For example, I know it would be fantasy or post-apocalyptic/dystopia. I know it would have a unique world. Also, an “impossible”/star-crossed love thing going on. Oh yeah, and it will have to be dark and fairly tragic. It was a pretty fun exercise. It really got the ideas flowing. I’d highly recommend it. :)

Here’s the thing, though. I know I can’t sit around and wait for the ULTIMATE, BEST-EVER, ENCOMPASSING-EVERYTHING-INSIDE-MY-SOUL idea. And I probably shouldn’t demand that every novel I pursue have every single element I love. But I think I’ve reached a point where I’m willing to wait

Because let’s face it, for most of us, writing/editing a novel takes a long time. Six months, a year, a couple years. That’s a huge commitment, peeps.

And it’s HARD! Writing a novel is hard! So shouldn’t we put that time and toil into something we truly love? And I don’t just mean, love. I’ve loved all my stories. We writers tend to love pretty much anything our brilliant, precious brains dream up.

No, I’m talking about waiting for an idea (and by idea I mean concept, character, or world) that really speaks to us.

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The Agony and the Ecstacy

Right now I’m in that fuzzy, foggy land that all writers pass through. It is the land of in between. I’m not working on edits (for the moment,) nor am I drafting a novel. I’m not outlining any ideas. In fact, I’ve put the two I had onto the far back burner. So right now, basically, I’m floating in the void.

There are two ways to look at this place:

1. I’ve got nothin’.

No ideas that I like. Nothing to work on. My fingers itch, my head swirls with detached scenes and random voices. But I’ve yet to grasp anything and say, “Yes! This is what I’ll work on.” I sit down, open my laptop . . . and log onto Twitter.

However, like I said, this sis a place of conflicting emotions. Another part of me says:

2. The world is my oyster!

Do you ever watch a great movie, or read an amazing book, and say, “I’d love to write a story like that.”? I do. All the time. Well right now, I could write any of those. I could write a sweeping dystopian love story, or a heart-wrenching magic realism story, a quirky and funny contemporary novel, or a dark and epic fantasy. Anything I want! I can let my imagination soar! OMG, I’m going to write the BEST. NOVEL. EVER!!!

I just need the plot.

Oh yeah . . . I don’t have one.

(Go back to 1.)

So you ever feel this way? That you have a million ideas, but not really anything at all? A million stories you’d love to write, but no basic plot or concept to grab onto?

It really is frustratingly wonderful and wonderfully frustrating.

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Refresh

Well folks, I’m back from vacation. *cheers* *sighs* I had a blast at my family reunion. My sisters are officially the Funnest People Ever. :) It’s good to be back, though, even if life is waiting right where I left it. The house is void of edible food. I have piles of laundry to do. And school starts in less than a week. So I have a busy few days ahead.

Still, this trip did my body good. Imagine my battery recharger light glowing a happy green right now. It’s really amazing what a ten days will do. In fact, I’ve come to the conclusion that vacations should be REQUIRED for writers. In the space of ten little days, I had two important thoughts.

The first was a reminder:

I’m good at things OTHER THAN writing.
Also, I like things OTHER THAN writing.

I swear, I forget that sometimes. We writers tend to get tunnel vision, so caught up in the quest/race for publication that we lose sight of all else. It’s wonderful to break away from that for a while.

The second thought was a revelation:

I know what to do with my quirky character!

Thanks to the relaxed, happy mind vacation gave me, I had the clarity I needed to finally give her a plot. It’s equally quirky, possibly too quirky, but I’m going to write it. In fact, I can’t wait to get started.

So as you can see, I had an eventful ten days. I almost wish I had another vacation coming up. Almost.

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Someone make this movie!

In other news, I’m heading out of town for a while so I won’t be blogging or tweeting much. (Right now you’re thinking, “Uh, yeah? What else is new?) We’ll return to our regularly scheduled lack of blogging when I get back. 😉

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