My one of my biggest problems when it comes to writing, other than my ability to focus and concentrate on a task for long periods of time, is my inability to stop thinking. My brain is constantly coming up with new ideas for story ideas, and this might sound like a boon for a Writer, it’s not when I’ve already decided on a project, put all this effort into planning and outlining this particular project and then my Brain simply refuses to pay attention. Like in October for example, when I’m desperately trying to get all the last minute details organised for NaNoWriMo, my brain comes up with an novel premise based entirely on a throw-away joke.
The throw away joke in question would be my “Possibly crazy Private Investigator + a talking Corgi + a Journalist looking for missing sibling = Hilarity” Novel Idea (don’t ask me how it ends in hilarity, I haven’t figured that part out yet, it just does). Then during NaNoWriMo itself my brain comes up with another idea about a Scottish man (from Glasgow specifically) with high-functioning autism has to rent out a room in his two-bedroom granny-flat because of financial difficulties involving his family and I’m just sitting there, trying to write up my Metamorphosis story, saying “Shut Up Brain, I’m trying to think! Why couldn’t you have made these suggestions at a more convenient time?”
However, I think I’m sort of understanding what my brain is trying to tell me. I’ve only just figured out that my 2014 NaNoWriMo Project is WAY TOO complicated and ambitious to fit into the space of a single month, my brain was trying to give me a more simple novel idea that I could possibly write a beginning-middle-end for. Because while I can give a short one sentance summary of the other two projects, I can’t do that with Metamorphosis, I’ll have a go at it, observe:
“cishet white woman finds out her cancer has returned, while being volunteered for experimental treatment to cure her cancer, she gets abducted by aliens, escapes being kidnapped by one group of aliens, only to be kidnapped by another group of aliens wanting to reignite civil war between group 1 aliens and group 2 aliens, with humans and alien androids getting caught in the political cross-hairs.”
You know, because it’s not enough that she’s got cancer, she has to be abducted by aliens, and did I mention she was previously and abducted by an abhorrent stalker? Throw in Anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and stir! Clearly my brain has a Complexity Addiction. I don’t regret working on Metamorphosis but there is a part of me that is frustrated at just how BIG it really is, however there is also a part of me that wonders if I should be the writer to write Metamorphosis (I know that sounds complicated but work with me here).
Metamorphosis covers issues and topics like the dark side of the ideology of “The Needs of the many before the Wants of the few”, colonialism, racism, post-effects of a War that’s been going on for centuries, a Utopian Society that has allowed a planet to dissolve into a Dystopian society and refuses to do anything about it because they are terrified of reigniting the previously mentioned centuries-long war. That’s complex stuff and what keeps me up at night is the fear that I am not a good enough writer to talk about these things. I understand that my brain is trying to give me an easy way out and that’s why I need to keep going, but author authenticity is also a valid concern.
So, my questions for The Readers are:
~Do you have problems with coming up with ideas? Why or Why not?
~What are the some of complex themes or topics that come up in your Writing or Novels?
~Are they intentionally or sub-consciously weaved into your stories?
~Why are these themes or topics significant to you?
3 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo Conclusions: Inspiration”
You sound just like me. I thought of 5 different twist endings just today. In answer to your questions:
I never have trouble coming up with ideas. Give me a trope, a picture, or anything, and I will find a subversive premise. My problem is that I can never expand on it.
Complex themes–gender, ethics, culture, the intersection of love and manipulation. Sometimes I intentionally include those themes, but other times they work their way in because I’m fascinated by them. As to why they’re important, gendered tropes have fascinated me for a while, and they’re very, very fun to play with and subvert.
Thank you for commenting. Yeah, it’s generally the follow up of ideas that I have problems with. I quite liked your “Too Alpha For You” post, though I’m not Edward would admit to his “Kinky Drama-Queen Club” membership, Edward’s a bit of a snob after all :).
Shannon Hale once said ideas ideas are a dime a dozen; it’s actually writing that’s hard.
Thanks! No, he would never, never admit it. Edward tries so hard to be a normal boy next door and fails equally hard. That’s why I like those books. Edward failing is funny.