I wish I knew the answer to that title because it would make my life easier. Easier, and perhaps not as interesting. Definitely not as interesting. I wouldn't be walking around the planet thinking about ideas, wondering if such and such could be told. Or wandering around imagining what hasn't been told (nothing) or what way I could tell it again, in a different way, from a different perspective.
And it's just about wondering and wandering time, and I'm starting to get that itchy feeling, jonesing for another story. Now that this novel in progress is about to make it's cyber journey to my agent, I am thinking about the next one. Yes, you say, I haven't given this one time to end. But that's not really how I work. I am a junkie for the story in motion, the story that comes out, the story of the moment. I like the ride of the tale as it wants to come out, the tale that wants to flow.
Of course, coming up with an idea that sticks isn't as easy as coming up with an idea. Here are some that didn't make it very far:
- The story of a particular queen of Denmark, one who has some pretty dysfunctional men in her life, one dead and yet still able to throw out the guilt. But wait--she's actually in love. She's actually having the time of her life until--until she finds out the truth! Her new husband murdered her first husband. Ak! But before we go there, let's look at the passion of her few months of new life, new promise. Then we can kill her off. The problem here is how to make this at all readable as pretty much everyone will know how it ends, a big pile of Shakespearean dead bodies in the middle of the room.
- A woman on vacation in Oaxaca with her useless, pain-in-the-ass boyfriend. She would have broken up with him months ago, except she really has no energy to change her life. While on vacation, she and said loser get separated, and she ends up meeting this pretty fab dude at a bar. Both of them end up strolling along at a local festival, when they, yes, step into another time, about 500 years in the past. But wait, it's not a very happy other world. It's a world of the tribal past of this particular region, where every year at the festival they were just at, virgins are sacrificed. And sadly, they find themselves completely changed in body and form, find themselves to be about eleven years of age. Bingo, they are the virgins. Mayhem ensues.
- The story of a magic mother and her three daughters. The mother is like--yes--queen and ruler of these magic people, and the youngest daughter, our hero, doesn't want to join her in her wild magic life. Until she meets the amazing man ext door and they--well, I didn't get that far.
- Something about two teenaged girls, best friends, and one gets abducted. I think I made it to page 15 on this one, and it was too depressing, even for me.
There are just a few of the ideas that rumbled around in my head and then sputtered and died. For a while--an hour, a day, a week--these stories were what made me tick, what gave me that little warm butternut of happiness. Having a story to tell is like having a really good secret, one that eventually you can share and no one gets made that you do (except for those on Amazon.com who don't LIKE the story).
Today will be about finishing up the last touches of my manuscript before sending it off to my agent. In the weeks that follow, I will inevitably do more revisions, more changes, and depending on where it goes, I will have more to do then. So I know it's not done, but it's done in the rush way, the flow way, the wave way of story. Now, it's more about ironing, cleaning, primping, styling. I've slicked down its hair, shined its shoes, and sent it to school with a note pinned on its collar.
Please wish it luck.
Causes Jessica Inclán Supports
Women for Women International Goodwill Industries Lindsey Wildlife Museum Freecycle.org