Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Spark of Genius

I’m in the home stretch of my edits, I think. I’m going to finish up the novella in the next couple days and then ship it off to my editor this weekend. Then I plan to finish the edits for Book 2 this weekend and then ship those off next week. With both of those stories out of my hands, I can then turn my full attention to Book 3, which I have started.

I will say that an interesting thing happened when I was working on this edit. There was this one scene my editor loved. I mean, really, really loved, but she wanted me to expand it. That’s all she said, expand it. The good thing about a request like that is that it leaves the door open for me to many any number of changes and go in several different directions. I have lots of freedom. The bad part is if you have no idea how to change a scene you love as well.

So, I got stuck. I loved the scene as well, but couldn’t think of how to “expand” it. I finished all my other edits on paper, but this one, I couldn’t do. I was about to admit defeat, but I was lying in bed one night, trying to fall asleep and genius struck. It was like lightning. It was brilliant. I wanted to get up and write it the moment I thought of it despite the fact that it was two in the morning and I had to work that day. It's the perfect way to expand the scene. It develops the characters, it adds an unexpected twist to the story, and it is just positively evil….

The interesting thing isn’t that genius finally struck. I’ve had a few good ideas, hence the book deal. The strange thing is that I had the idea while I was trying to fall asleep. Most of my bright ideas come while I’m at the computer working. My brain is already in writing mode, churning out plot twists, character flaws, and other interesting tidbits. By the time I go to bed, my brain is mush and ready for sleep. It’s rare for my new ideas to come while trying to sleep.

So, my question to you is: when do your best ideas come to you? While daydreaming just before bed? While soaking in a bubble bath? On the drive to work?


Heather Harper said...

When I'm relaxed and ready for sleep. (It's when I'm least likely to doubt myself.)

Christine said...

I'm not a writer, but I generally get some of my best ideas or inspirations when I'm in the shower, driving in the car, or just as I'm falling asleep. Of course, these are the times I'm also least able to write them down.

Congrats on your writing progress. You sound so productive!

Less than three weeks until release day!!! Yay! :D

Chris said...

It varies with me. Sometimes it's when I'm in bed at night. I tend to let my mind wander more then.

My favorite is when I'm actually writing and a character says or does something unexpected that triggers the inspiration.

Ruth Schaller said...

My ideas usually pop up anytime. I do could be doing anything. But it only takes the one thing to happen and it'll spark an idea.

You seem so much more productive than I am. I get the idea. Punch out a few chapters than I get lazy. How do you keep yourself going?

Anonymous said...

unfortunately, my best ideas always come right before I fall asleep. I mean, I'm literally about one second from sleep, and then I have to jump out of bed, turn on the light and scribble the idea down so I don't forget it. And of course, then I'm not so tired :)
Emily Rose