I’m in the middle of a book already. Hard copy revisions Round One are done, and I’m bakc at the computer, tip-tapping away into the sunset.
And then BAM! A single phrase from a movie jumps into my brain and rattles around. It’s like an untamed horse, galloping about with nothing but wild abandon. The idea picks up traction as it goes, forming a character and a world.
Sci-Fi, cold blooded main character, steely logic, blackouts, on the run, a mystery unfolding.
“Hang on a second,” Rational Brain says. “You’re already in the middle of revisions, and you have, like, three other books you haven’t finished and also a whole other book you want to write. Do you really have time for a new idea?”
“Well,” Competing Rationality says, “you remember that one time when you just sat around with nothing to do because you didn’t have any fresh ideas to work with?”
“…maybe.” Rational says.
“I’m not saying you should abandon your current book and start a whole new one,” Competing says, “but let the idea fester for a while. Write down a couple scenes as they come to you. Sketch out the world building details, and maybe a couple science foundations. Then, when the idea is good and secure, tuck it away for the Almighty Next Time.”
This is an important rule. Never resist the flow of new ideas!
Yes, sometimes an idea feels like this:
If the muse is kind enough to tap you on the shoulder (or slap you in the face) with an idea, who are we to resist that gracious gift? It might be briefly distracting or it very well may consume our brains. But that’s the chance you take when you allow a infectious disease (aka an idea) run rampant in your brain. And who doesn’t absolutely love the feeling of an idea taking them over? To have a character, premise, or plot so strong that it infects your every thought.
Remember kids: Writers invite diseases into their brains in the hope they can offer a cure. Now isn’t that a lovely quote?