Fresh New Idea

So I have a new idea for  story cooking in my head. This past week has generally been one of those good news-bad news kind of weeks, and the WIP I was working on isn’t working. And I don’t mean a little difficulty, I mean it’s not moving forward.

I have therefore given myself permission to start work on something new and come back to the other WIP at another point. Perhaps the distance and time will provide some added perspective I haven’t thought of yet. But of course, this means I have to figure out how to develop what is essentially little more than an idea into something that might become a story.

For me, I often get a character come into my head first, a character looking for a story. Since I right romance, the next step is trying to find a partner for the initial character who will eventually become the secondary lead. Beginning the story this way means that the path of the story generally comes through the overall character arch I want the character(s) to follow and achieve.

This latest book is different. Yes, there’s definitely a character, but she came with a whole world of her own, something crazy and strange, but filled with my favorite things. 🙂

How then, to develop this?

My first step was to write down as much as I knew about the story as it first came to me, because it came to me all in a rush and thunder.  Bizarrely, there are even images associated with this story in terms of setting, which is unusual because I don’t think much about images, but there it is.

The next step for me is developing and nurturing this idea into something real. I have a couple of my favorite books help me out with this, including tips from James Scott Bell. I free-write on the idea, fleshing it out, deciding what it is I love about it and why others would love it. This time I also really want to focus on why this book is unique, and how it will be accessible for readers. Plus, I think I need to give some time to the back-story just so I know what’s true for this world, even if much of that detail never makes it into the primary story.

You see, I’m trying to improve my method. In fact, I tweak and change things a bit every time I write. And one of the things I’m worse for is coming up with an idea and starting to write right away … before I’ve properly figured out much. This often necessitates rewriting or often throwing out the first act completely after I change my mind. Ideally, I’d like to avoid doing that if possible. 🙂

So what about you: when you have that fresh new idea, how do you develop it into a fleshed out story? Next week I want to look more specifically at some of the steps, since this week I have to see what they are first. 🙂

Have a great one, and happy reading out there. 🙂