At the beginning of this year’s NaNo season, I had a realization. Every year I have won NaNo (2009 onward), I have thought of a novel idea during the month and then written that novel (the first year, I had small pieces of ideas, but nothing like what I wrote). This year, I wasn’t sure that would happen; I had the two novels I was going to work on, and thought I might do some shorter works, but not a new novel idea.
I guess if there is anything that I like, it is proving myself wrong.
I was in the car on the way to my brother’s, and I was playing around with speech to text (because typing while driving is ill advised). The problem was that I didn’t really have an idea. So I said to myself, “I’ll do flash fiction based on the next song I hear on the radio.”
Almost as soon as I say that, I get a title (which is weird in and of itself – I almost never know titles): “Confessions of a Dispassionate Superhero”. And then the next song starts – Kryptonite, by 3 Doors Down.
I fully believe that sometimes story ideas are gifts. You still have to work at them – to shape them, to bring them into the world, to polish them – but the central idea is just a gift from the Writer’s Void. This, I think is one.
I start dictating the work, which in my mind is a flash fic, maybe stretching to an actual short story. I get about two scenes in when I realize: dude, this is a novel.
I’m still working out the details (and will probably do more work like that, dictation-writing key scenes and back story and the like when driving to my Thanksgiving this upcoming weekend), but I like this idea. It plays with ideas I like to use, and I like the characters (and I like that I get to subvert gender tropes with superheroes). I’m still discovering the shape of the story, but I’ve got a second work that I’m really excited about, now.
Time to finish up the one I’m on (hopefully this week) and then move on. Also, I might buy Dragon because of this – I like this storytelling out loud thing, and want to play with it more.