Feb 2, 2010

New Ideas

As I am rounding the corner and preparing to query I find myself coming into unfamiliar territory...

I've got my book ready.

I'm waiting for one more critique.

I've got a pretty almost perfectly polished query.

There is absolutely NOTHING more I can do on my book...at the moment...

So now what do I do?

Well of course, I send out my queries. Then I wait.

But what do I do while I wait?

I felt absolutely lost yesterday without a manuscript to work on. It was almost torture! And thus, I know it's time to come up with a new idea. I can't just sit and wait for answers. I MUST write. I MUST work on something. I am incapable of just sitting around and doing nothing. (Ask any old co-worker. I hate being bored. I love working! I'm a strange strange person, but you already knew that!)

So.....new ideas....

Why is this harder than it sounds. I did have a few ideas that got lost in the big "Virus Extravaganza 2010", but I'm not really feeling those ideas. I came up with a really good idea this weekend, but it's slightly cliche' and I can't figure out a good twist. I want to be original. I don't want to write about vampires and ghosts and all that other hot stuff right now. I want to write something NEW! Yeah...that's kinda hard to come up with.

Does anyone else have moments of empty brain? Lack of brain juices? Momentary loss of creativity? OR is it just me?

Maybe I should ask my 4yr old what to write about...but I'm not so sure I can come up with a good plot involving trees and butter....

17 comments:

Scott said...

I have those moments a lot. Then, there are the moments when I have so many ideas I just want to scream. Normally, when I don't have any ideas, I put a CD in, and write something about every single song. I wrote a pretty nifty short story one time based on inspiration derived from the CD I was listening to.

Oh, and as for that cliche idea, why not go ahead and start writing it out and see what happens? You can always make it your own with a unique twist.

Faith said...

Marybeth, I tend to have the opposite problem... too many ideas, so I can't focus on one and just buckle down with it! But I've had my dry spells as well... one went for about 2 years and I only really came out of it last summer. During that time I didn't know what to do, and mostly sat around moping... not fun!!!

Have you tried reading the newspaper for ideas or anything? Sometimes those little blurby stories along the sides have quirky news that could inspire something!

Literary Coldcuts on Toasty Buns

Jonathon Arntson said...

Writing about something that feels real is 'new'.

You could always work on my manuscripts.

Geoff said...

I think about a book about trees and butter could be pretty dang entertaining...

Karen said...

I know exactly how you feel. I always have this moment of fear as I near the completion of a project where I panic and think, "Was that my last idea ever??"

And it never is.

Simon C. Larter said...

You need ideas? I got ideas, honey. What about an epic retelling of Joe's Apartment, except instead of singing cockroaches, it could be dancing dung-beetles. Or you could write the story of a down-on-his-luck bar singer who stumbles upon a long-lost civilization in a New York City sewer and is hailed by them as their new king--show tunes, tap-dancing, and pygmies with pointed sticks!

There's more where that came from too. Just ask! :)

Marybeth Poppins said...

Scott I may just take your idea about the cliche thing. Maybe the twist will pop into my head as I write?

I refuse to mope Faith! Newspaper sounds entertaining...hmmmmmm....

Jonathan I wouldn't want to steal your thunder. I'll let you work on your MS all by yourself!

Geoff do you really think there is a market out there for trees and butter??? I might consider it!

Karen there is never a last idea! Just a lull between ideas sometimes.

Simon, Joe's Apartment rocked! Except it was way better when it wasn't a movie and it was just little MTV blurbs. Sigh... I'll keep in mind your ideas and let you know if I need more!

Elana Johnson said...

I have those moments every single day! And I find my ideas in the most remote locations. A big elevator. Staring at the forms at work. In fact, I'm blogging about ideas on Thursday! Were you in my head???

Julie said...

I'm the opposite. I have way too many ideas to write them all into a novel. If you want one I'll throw it your way.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

You are an idea queen, Marybeth! Write and they will come. (or askk your gnomes for some tips) :-)

If you wonder if I have those days, too, go check out my post today. :-)

T. Anne said...

sadly, waiting for me consists of manically checking my emails, then cyber stalking the agents I queried.

Krista Phillips said...

I TOTALLY have those moments. Sometimes it helps to take the cliche ideas and just begin brainstorming. How can you make the different? Add a fun twist? Really, there is no NEW idea under the sun, so take a cliche one and make it a ton better.

I mean, how many, "Old boyfriend comes back to town" novels are there? Yet there will always be more, and each will (aka should) have it's own twist that sets it apart, makes it different.

Mindy said...

oh i have those days quite a bit.... I'm a bit of a movie buff so whenever my brain fries up and leaves to the Bahamas for vacation, I take a weekend and watch a bunch of movies. I try to find small independent ones...ones that are rarely seen. If that doesn't work I try to write down something that is considered utterly crazy... like something about a talking table falling in love with a goldfish

Jessica said...

I definitely suffer from empty brain syndrome. Don't worry, a great idea will whack you on the head when you least expect it. :-)

So you're ready to query! Wow, it's scary and exciting at the same time. I'm almost ready to query too. I'm feeling your nerves!

ali said...

ROFL *ask your 4 yo* ha! snarf!

I don't usually have a shortage of ideas, but sometimes I struggle getting INTO a new idea. That's hard for me. Learning to channel my new characters, to hear them and write them true.

Good luck MB! You'll figure it out!

Natalie said...

YES! It seems like when I'm writing something I have tons of ideas--too many to use. But as soon as I finish something and have to start something new, I got nothing. But it will come! Watch movies and take walks and listen in on other people's conversations at the grocery store and you'll have a new idea in no time. :)

CMOM Productions said...

I hate being being bored too. That's why I always take on too much and never get it all done! lol