Saturday, June 06, 2015
A Good Idea?
By Keith N Fisher
There’s a folder on my computer where I put ideas for books. It isn’t special, just a collection of one or two paragraphs each, sometimes, several pages. Each one is a jewel, but I haven’t developed some of them yet.
I’ve been known to brood over some of those files trying to outline the idea in my head. I struggle with plotting and I audition characters, but I run into problems. Sometimes the idea is out of my expertise. I ask you, is it a bad idea because of my inability to think out of the box?
Basically, I write women’s fiction. It took years to polish what I do. My stories are about women in general life-changing circumstances. Years ago, I started a project that led me into suspense with a mystery attached. It was out of my realm and I put it away. Then, I pulled it out a while back and the pieces began to fit. My characters taught me a lot and Shadow Boxing is ready for edits.
I left a half-finished historical book in the file once. I struggled with motivation and setting. Then finally, my character showed me I had started the story in the wrong place. It was still hard to write, since the main character is a man. Anyway, All That Glitters is being edited.
It was Denise, Christy, and Sharon who convinced me that I really do write women’s fiction. They live in my memory as wonderful women who helped me write Eternal Tapestries, The Trophy, and the Hillside. With a little tweaking and editing, those women will live in your memories, too.
You might’ve noticed I give credit to my characters, and rightly so. With the right woman, I can take an out of the box idea and turn it into a book. The trick is finding a character who is capable of accomplishing what needs to done.
When I incubate an idea into a story, I issue a casting call. If nobody shows up for the audition, I cannot write the story. Other times I get into a story and discover I’ve hired the wrong protagonist.
Equally debilitating, are the problems with sub-genre. Women’s fiction can cover a broad range of genres from romance to SCIFI, mystery to fantasy. Unfortunately, there is a learning curve and it takes a while for me to think out of the box.
Recently, an idea has resurfaced and I must include time travel in the plot. Although I love to read about time travel, writing it, is another story. I really like the idea, so I’m researching . . . by the way, have I mentioned I’m scheduled to do a presentation about research for discovery writers. It will be at the Eagle Mountain, Utah writer’s event in August.
So, how does a person research time travel in fiction? I’m sure there are real life scientists who are delving into the possibilities, but what about fiction? I’ll tell you what I’ve been doing, next week.
Good luck with your writing—See you next week.