One of the coolest things that has begun to happen to me since I’ve started writing full time is when the Muse waves her magic wand and the most wonderful ideas come out of thin air. One day, I have no idea what I’m going to write about, and the next day, I can’t get the words on paper fast enough.
For example, for the last couple of months, I’ve been working on doing the outline for the next volume in my series, Destiny. It’s been coming a little slow, but I kept working on what was going to happen to my Fate character after the story ended. I knew a couple of the plot elements, but not enough to carry the whole story. Over the course of the last twelve hours, the ideas started coming in, and by the time I sat in front of the PC this morning, I had sticky notes pasted all over the monitor. More than that, I had the working titles for the next two in the series and the bulk of the outline for volume three (Chaos) as well. I spent three hours this morning capturing the ideas and fleshing them out.
I know of other authors that get their ideas from dreams or brainstorming or the newspaper. For me at least, the creative process seems to percolate on a back burner for a while. In the case of the Fate manuscript, I’d been entertaining ideas about whether fate was preordained or whether you make your own fate. That led me to wondering about the origins of fate and I started researching fortune tellers, astrology, and the legends of the three fates. I made a couple of false starts on the manuscript before I settled on the story, but it all came together as I researched the themes that intrigued me.
I think the same thing has happened with the Destiny idea. For the past couple weeks, I’ve been carrying around two articles I clipped from a newspaper. Every day or so, I pulled out the articles and reread them. One was about voodoo priests being murdered in Haiti (based on local rumors that they were spreading cholera), the other about the Romanian witch tax (I mentioned it yesterday). Boom. Last night, the Muse screamed at me and I couldn’t sleep for the ideas streaming into my brain.
I got no sleep, but I’ve got the beginnings of a story.