Saturday, March 6, 2010

New WIP

Last month I was  REVISING, REVISING, REVISING. Then I took a small break had a guest here for an interview, and went to San Francisco to celebrate the Chinese year, 4707. Now I'm back to tackle writing again.

One question I'm often asked when someone finds out I'm a writer is, "Where do you get your ideas?" And I guess that's really a compliment to any writer when you think of it. I mean writing a book, like other creative acts, is crafting something from nothing more than a thought, maybe one that's rattled around in your head for a while or has newly arrived.

This is Nan Marino's great Middle Grade book that reaches back to the first moon walk, but is a wonderful story about kids right here on earth. It's a recent Honor Recipient of a Golden Kite Award.  Where did Nan get her idea?


I think of what I do as being very similar to what a gardener does, the difference being writers don't have to   study an almanac for when to plant. So the metaphor isn't complete, just appropriate for spring which is fast approaching here in California. Hope you'll bear with me in this seed-plant/thought-book comparison.

In February whenever the REVISION stalled, I'd go to the greenhouse and plunk in a few seeds while I  balled out those stubborn characters for not shaping up as they should. Then in March about the same time as my characters started behaving and my plot thickened,  those little seeds did what they were supposed to and popped out of the ground, perfect little tomatoes, squash, peas, and beans. I wrapped up the book and off it went, not as perfect as my vegetable plants, but as close as I could make it.





The next few weeks I'll be blogging about this process called, STARTING A NEW NOVEL. I hope you'll chime in and share what it's like for you when you enter this honeymoon phase. Or maybe it isn't like that for you at all. If not, I'd love to hear what it is like. Here's how my WIP began. This is my journal entry.


Day One: Eureka! I have this fantastic MC who's sprung from my head and somehow I've linked him with a news article I read a year ago. Run to file (box full of clippings), retrieve article and re-read. So the journey begins.

11 comments:

  1. I'm looking forward to reading about your process! Gardening is a great metaphor for writing. Fishing is another one.

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  2. Great analogy :) It's so interesting to see how others approach writing!

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  3. That is a great analogy--so true!

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  4. I hope your novel will grow and grow! Looking forward to seeing the production!

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  5. Ideas are great, and often easy to come by, but when they're actually going onto the page in a way that matches the vision in my head...that's when the real magic happens!

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  6. I like how the character linked up with the article. I think solid book ideas often come from such linking of bits and pieces from here and there. I'll be interested to hear about your progress.

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  7. Having those Eureka moments are pure gold. I'm in the middle of a big rewrite but I've jotted some notes for a new novel but haven't been hit with the moment like you have. Good luck with your new project. It'll be fun hearing about the process as your story unfolds!

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  8. Terrific insightful post. I enjoyed learning more about you!

    Regards,
    Donna

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  9. Great post, Lee. Thanks for mentioning my book :) Again, we're having one of those east coast/west coast moments of synchronicity. I found a newspaper article that made me drop my w.i.p. and try something new.

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  10. Lee, I'm excited to hear about your WIP! I may be starting one, too, so we can share processes.

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