I’m always amazed when an idea for a new story hits me, usually like a ton of bricks. I think it’s fascinating what incites them whether it’s an event or just an overheard line. But what’s even more surprising is the timing.
While I was working on the tale I just finished drafting, I tried to think of ways to build a sequel of stories, some sort of offshoot to connect this to a new work. I quickly decided it just wasn’t going to be that kind of book. Some stories are about one (or two) people and is self contained. There isn’t a theme or set of subplots or sub-characters that have a connecting story to tell, and that is fine.
That all changed within twelve hours of typing ‘the end.’
The very next morning while driving (Because that’s when all the great ideas come to you, when pen and paper are no where to be found and it’s too dangerous to use them) the whole connection hit me like a flash of lightening. A new heroine, a new hero, the heroine’s connection to the current hero/heroine — her tale. Not quite a sequel, but a continuation, a second generation of the current. The premise appealed and the first thing I wanted to do was get to pen and paper so I could start scribbling out notes. So, I could be creative. But what of the draft I’d just finished. It was still a draft. It still needed (still needs) the tender love and care of this author chopping it up like an axe murder.
I honored both process. I finished driving and then opened a notebook and made a bunch of notes. I gave myself enough to build from later. Why not? That first draft needed time to percolate anyway and my mind needed to distance itself from those words on the page. However, when that time had passed, I returned to the draft and began revising, which is where I’ve been for about two weeks now. In this time, while doing the mechanical — almost mathematical — process of rewriting, new story ideas and plot twists for other tales filed in the ‘to be written’ file are coming in flashes.
But why now?
My only answer is a writer writes; a creative mind creates. And when we’re deep in those processes — like when I’m writing a first draft — that creative mind is happy and satisfied. When I complete that process, a reset button is hit.
Whether I’m right or not, the reason really doesn’t matter. I’m just glad the stories just keep coming.