Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Stockpiling

I freely admit that I'm a pack rat. Although, I like to call it stockpiling. I horde ideas. I squirrel them away in my brain and pull one out on demand whenever I need to. When I was writing Unbreak Me, I had a lot of ideas. I could have left the novella as it stood with the vague knowledge that Tait and Marcus hadn't found all the people who had sabotaged their lives. Somehow, I couldn't do that. And that ended up coupled to my editor swooning over Branson, a secondary character and best friend to the hero.

Well, hell. Now, I'd mentally committed myself to a sequel.

So I sifted through the stockpile of ideas in my head and came upon one about twins. Ah ha! my brain said. You have this vague person who lurks in the shadows, who provides Branson and Tait's father the general with information. You allude to this in Unbreak Me. What if that vague person is actually Branson's twin? What if he's in the shadows and no one knows about him for a reason? What if the secret of his existence somehow dovetails with this conspiracy that led to Marcus and Branson becoming POWs while Tait was locked away in a prison? What if, what if, what if...

I kept the twin idea. I kept the secret existence. And I pulled out another idea. Something about Branson's family and their past. I pulled out an artifact, an heirloom piece of jewelry belonging to Branson's family's history. I used it as a catalyst. And voila! I had me a plot involving this very secretive twin.

Still, that left me with needing a plot for Branson's story and a culmination to the conspiracy. I wondered about him, this secondary character with so much hero in him that he screamed for his own piece of this world. And then it came to me. The big Alpha hero was a sexual submissive. This would give me a chance to expand this world a little and show off its facets.

Every piece of plot I used to create this trilogy came from my stockpile. I usually can't even say I'm hording ideas because it sounds so horribly reality TV-ish. But so much good comes from the stockpiling of ideas in my head that I can't discount the process. And really, it also means I'm never at a loss for a plot point.

When authors are interviewed, they are more often than not asked where they get their ideas from. Most authors say, "Everywhere." We can turn the most mundane stuff into a book, fueled solely by our imaginations and some crazy plot bunny. I know authors who say they forget far more ideas than they ever use. I try not to forget them. I just stockpile them at the back of my head and every now and again I take one out and stroke it a bit even though I'm not ready to work with it yet.

The world I built for Unbreak Me will reveal itself further for the readers when I commit Benedict's story to paper. It will grow more detailed and expansive when move on to Branson's story. It may even be a world I won't want to leave behind after just three novellas. Lord knows I'm already having separation anxiety over Tales of the Darkworld coming to an end 4.5 books from now.

For a fan of sci fi rom, this step into futuristic worlds has meant a lot. Delving into the world of the Pythian Elite warriors has been fun and the exoticness of it has given me a taste of what it would be like to write sci fi rom. Now, I'm eager to step further into this world because I know it will continue to spawn ideas for me to sock away in my head for the day I eventually do decide to write that sci fi rom!

Now, tell me...I'm not really alone, am I? I'm not the only one who hordes ideas, right? Some of you do this too, don't you? My stockpile currently has about fifty plots and more bare bones ideas than I can even count ranging from historical to contemporary to futuristic to that sci fi rom I want so badly to be able to do. So, c'mon. Tell me true...What's in your stockpile?

9 comments:

  1. Ooh, love the twin story--that sounds like a great book! I do horde ideas, although I'm old enough now that I don't trust my brain to keep up with them anymore (just you wait, kiddies). I keep a running journal full of ideas that might become short stories or novels, or just twists or germs of other stories.

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  2. I a reader, not a writer, but I loved how your mind works. HOw you pulled all the ideas together and make it in a book, amazing. U would to win one of your books.

    Lin W.

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  3. Suzanne - I sometimes put ideas down in a file. But for some reason my mind creates a folder for ideas and just naturally remembers them all! Now, don't ask me when the electric bill is due though! My standard answer is Uhhhhhh... LOL

    Lin - I'm not giving away any books on this blog today but if you head on over to my author blog at lexvalentine.com/blog I'm giving away books there every day through Christmas. Thanks for coming by!

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  4. When I get ideas I write them up in a document and wait to see if there's a story in there somewhere. Some ideas work as pieces in some other story, som are big enough to get their own.

    marc Vun Kannon
    http://authorguy.wordpress.com

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  5. Fifty story ideas is amazing! I usually have several floating around the deep and not so deep recesses of my mind. If I leave them in my head too long they start nagging me so I keep notes in notebooks, which I transfer to the laptop if and when I decide I will make a story out of them. :-)

    Evie

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  6. I think I need to plan a stockpile raid...

    Where do you keep these lovelies, eh?

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  7. Marc - Some of my ideas are like yours, a piece of something bigger. Sometimes they're a full blown plot really.

    Evie - All of mine nag me. That's why I take them out and stroke them sometimes. Like cats. LOL

    Maureen - In my head mostly. The big ones get written out in a WIPs file.

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  8. Even though I'm not a writer I do stockpile ideas for gifts. Tonight I got a box of gifts for the 12 days of Christmas. Each little gift is wrapped and numbered with a date of when I can open it and I can't cheat (darn!!!). I have to open them one at a time. Next year I'm going to use this idea for Christmas.

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  9. I am a reader but know all about stockpiling ideas through my daughter who is an author. What I love is that she often runs the ideas past me and I am able to help her expand on them with the odd comment or two :D

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