By Nichole Giles
Two weeks ago, I woke up in the night having had an epiphany about one of my unfinished novels. Don’t laugh. Even though I’m currently trying to get to the end of the book, my great idea had to do with the beginning. As in a prologue.
Because of this idea, I figured out a few scenes that need to be added in, a few I’ll end up taking out, and it seems like I had great plans for the ending. Yes, I wrote the ideas down. Sort of. But only in a really vague way, and not in any detail whatsoever.
I didn’t have time. I’m currently working on two different unfinished novels—as well as a rewrite of another, and last week I spent three days at a conference. I chose—stupidly—to focus on finishing the rewrite before going back to the unfinished book. Yeah, well. It sounded like a good idea at the time.
Fast forward to today. I knew I had critique group tonight, and that we’ve gone through all the chapters I’ve written up to this point. My plan was to write a new chapter during the day, print it, and bring it raw. I’ve done it before. It isn’t so painful as to make me give up writing. Usually. But…things happened. I had about fifty distractions that kept me from my computer during the day. And the truth is, every time I did open my screen, I drew a complete blank.
I’m not sure why. Maybe I need to skip around, write the prologue, the middle scenes, then the end before I tie them all together. Or maybe it’s because I knew I had to get it done. Whatever the reason, I didn’t get my chapter written. What I ended up with is two pages of pure crap—which, incidentally, I will eventually turn into non-crap. As soon as I find that inspiration I let pass me by last week. Dang. Maybe I left it in that box of chocolates I gave away on Valentine’s Day? I should go look.
The moral of the story: if inspiration wakes you up in the night, go with it. Ignore it, and it will eventually run away and then you’re left chasing after it screaming, nooooooo don’t goooooooo! Er, well, that’s how I’m feeling today. Bah.
Back to writing. Wish me luck.