Later this week I’ll be retreating with a few writers to ponder all things story and publishing. We do this four times a year, usually over a weekend. We laugh . . . we eat . . . we drink. And we work. We work hard. So hard that by the end of the weekend my head is crammed with information and ideas and inspiration, and it takes me a few days to sift through it all.
This time, though, my head is also full going in. Actually, it’s more than full; it’s a mess. I need help brainstorming a new novel. I have an idea – an inciting incident really – and I have a character. But the rest is a tangled mess of threads, mostly because I could take this story in a number of different directions.
Needing to send something ahead for the agenda, I wrote out a rough book blurb as a starting point for a brainstorming session. Except – the second idea had merit so I wrote that one out too. And then I wrote out the third one because it was different again, and also full of possibility. I tossed in a few character notes. A thought or two about the setting. A vague suggestion (okay, mostly a whine) about where I might find the love interest in all of this.
And I emailed the whole tangled mess to my fellow pen warriors. No doubt I’ll come away from the weekend with a head full of information, ideas and inspiration. But with some luck – and a little hard work – I’m also hoping that those tangled threads will be nicely sorted into one tight, cohesive and colorful story idea.