I’ve been struggling with this book I’ve been working on for a long time. It has a “fun” premise, but I couldn’t figure out a setup to get into that premise that had any real stakes that wasn’t pretty serious. I did eventually figure that out. But then I’ve been feeling like not enough happens to take advantage of the fun premise. That’s been frustrating me.
But last night, I had a breakthrough. I decided to take a step back and think of things that could happen in that setting — what would a visitor to that place want to see and experience, aside from the plot? There was something that came up on that list that rang all kinds of bells of something potentially fun that will totally change the way the characters interact with the world and what kind of activities they could get up to.
The funny thing is, the core of that idea goes back to a book I wrote nearly twenty years ago, when I was writing category romance. I wrote a proposal for a book that took place in a similar setting, and it had this kind of event and activity (but without the magic). The line I was writing for at the time closed while I had my proposal in, and the editor suggested I try turning it into a single title book and recommended an agent. I did write that book and got an agent, but the book didn’t go anywhere (something I’m kind of glad about now because that wasn’t a career direction that would have been good for me). This particular sequence, though, has stuck with me. And now I can use the roots of it again. I can’t copy and paste scenes, or anything like that, but the research I did for it and the imagery I developed in my head may work, as well as the kinds of events and activities that might come up. Though with some really wacky twists.
Mostly, though, I think this old book is what sparked the idea. I was thinking of things that could happen in this setting and thought of what happened in that book, which made me think of those events, which made me think of how I could use them in this book.
Now I just need to figure out how, exactly, that will affect my plot.