Thursday, March 5, 2009

Anyone seen my magic wand?

We're in that weird place that writers go when they've finished one manuscript and haven't decided which project to start next. We have an insane amount of ideas rattling around in our commercially focused little heads, but the most pressing is some sort of sequel for FINDING GRACE. Now, we have lots of ideas for the next book, but we're still fleshing out the main mystery for the book and we're a little stuck. It's really important to us that the mystery driving the second book be as fresh and surprising as the mystery in the original and now I'm left trying to remember how we came up with the plot for FINDING GRACE in the first place.

Laura and I have a random process when it comes to outlining books. It typically starts with texts and e-mails sent in the wee hours of the morning. Stuff like, "We should write a book where a girl gets e-mails from her dead best friend and it's a mystery." and then Laura will write back something like "LOVE IT. Like a hotter Nancy Drew!" And then we'll work up to longer e-mails with more detailed plot points until finally we'll force ourselves to sit down and do a very rough outline for the entire book and eventually a chapter by chapter outline for the first third of the book. Then we write the first third, and when we're done we outline the next third. Yeah, it's a little weird, but it works.

Anyways, right now we're stuck in that early texting/e-mailing stage where we have lots of ideas, but no cohesive plot and it's driving me nuts. Not to mention the fact that we've got some new and very distracting book ideas that are calling to us. The thing is that after writing two books we still don't really know how we do it. The story just sort of comes to us. It sounds really lame, but it's kind of magical. (That sounds so cheesy I can barely bring myself to write it, but it's true...) Now if only I could find the flipping wand to conjure up a killer mystery for Kate's next adventure, I'd be sleeping a lot better at night.

So you tell me, where do you draw your inspiration from? We need to jumpstart our lazy muse.


sraasch said...

I'm right there with ya. I have no idea where my previous novel ideas came from; they just popped into my head full-formed and so ready to be written they practically wrote themselves. With my sequel to "Stream Pirate," it's like trying to force a very very large animal through a very very small hole. Nothing is working, and I have no idea where my muse went. So, if you find yours and it happens to be hanging out with mine, tell mine to come home. I miss it.

Lisa and Laura said...

Umm...note to self, blogging about it seems to help. Just sent a long e-mail to Laura with the beginnings of (dare I say it?) a PLOT! Whoo hoo!

ElanaJ said...

This is just another testament that blogging can solve all the world's problems. :)

slhastings said...

Take a walk. Go grab a coffee. You never know when or where inspiration will hit. My first novel was inspired by a cardinal. My second was inspired by a place around the corner – some kind of human engineering lab. Goddess was inspired by Angelina Jolie – no kidding.

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