Friday, October 23, 2009

Shiny New Ideas

I managed to escape the Thursday-afternoon doldrums this week and got quite a lot done, with a few minor side trips.

The side trips being that the rabid, idea-generating squirrels in my brain are at it again. Just when I'm in the middle of the tedious part of writing one project (the rewriting) and with another project in progress, they gave me a nice, shiny, new idea that I really want to play with. This one is actually a collision of several idea fragments that have been floating around for a while, and the other day they smashed together with an almost audible CLANG to create what I think is a viable idea. There was a plot starting point/first scene, there was a vague "I'd kind of like to write a book like that" and then there was a general time/place/style setting. As soon as that CLANG happened, the opening scene recreated itself to fit the new concept, and then suddenly I had a big-picture plot with some vague outlines of characters, and now this idea keeps bubbling up from the subconscious whenever I try to work on something else. The really weird thing is that yesterday I read a blog post from someone talking about the kind of book she wanted to read, and this was exactly that book. There must be something in the air.

However, it will just have to get in line. It will take a lot of research before I can write it because the setting isn't something I've dealt with before. I've also never attempted quite this kind/style of book, so I need to read a bit more in that genre to get a better sense of the expectations and the cliches. As I have learned recently, the delay will give the subconscious squirrels more time to develop and flesh out this idea and the book will be better for it, no matter how much I want to jump in right now. I need to finish what I'm working on before I can even start thinking about the new one, even though I keep finding myself wanting to start reading relevant stuff. This is going to require a lot of self discipline.

Of course, this sort of thing happens all the time, as creativity breeds creativity, and the more you exercise the squirrels, the more active they are and the more energy they have. I just have to keep a notebook handy to jot down random things about the new idea as they occur to me, and then I can get back to what I was doing instead of dwelling on it.

Following up on yesterday's post, I am trying to write some things that may be more in line with where the market is now while still retaining the essence of me. Instead of flat-out comedy, I'm doing more of characters with a sense of humor dealing with serious situations that may have a touch of quirk to them. So far, I haven't had much luck. My "serious" is still not "dark" and my worlds are still more light than dark, even if they have some scary or bad stuff in them. I also run into that typecasting thing that gets me with the romance angle. Just as, for some reason, they think that anything I write that has a male and female main character who show even the slightest hint of interacting is a romance, they also seem to expect everything I write to be comedy, so they're disappointed if it's not funny enough, even if they wouldn't be buying a comedy anyway. Basically, while publishers don't want any more of the Enchanted, Inc. series right now, they expect me to essentially be writing something exactly like it even if that's not what they really want. Yeah, it confuses me, too. I'll just keep writing, and either the market will change or I'll come up with something they love regardless of their expectations, or else all the personnel will do their usual musical chairs and I can deal with different people. All of which are entirely possible.

Television note for Doctor Who fans: Starting Sunday night, David Tennant will be hosting Masterpiece Contemporary on PBS, and since he's being himself, that means the Scottish accent will be there. They didn't show the host intros for the past few Mystery episodes, which I didn't mind so much because all the intros they did show gave away the ending, so I don't know how much we'll actually get to see. The intros may be all I watch because I'm not as big a fan of the contemporary stories. They mostly seem to be Cod Liver Oil Television, stuff you should watch because it's good for you, not because it's at all enjoyable. It's all about Important Social Issues. Plus, I like the bonnets and top hats and all the historical stuff you get in the Classic stories.

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