Photo is the orchid tree located at the Denver Botantic Gardens in the Boettcher Memorial Tropical Conservatory
I’m working on a project at the moment that’s been in my head for a long time. The world is more than familiar to me. I know the characters, know (for the most part) the plot of the book, and know the landscape. Which isn’t to say there haven’t been some surprises. *laughs* I tore out a major plot piece early on and that has lead to a lot more new scenes and surprises than I’d anticipated.
It’s still fun and I’m looking forward to a long run in this particular world. There’s so many cultures and so much to be seen that I’m dying at times – it’s hell being trapped at my day job when I’d really rather be spending 10 hours a day writing in this world.
Oddly enough, that’s not the point of this post. *grins* While I’m working on rewrite I tend to be hiding down in the basement on my Netbook rather than up in my office. The reason for this is that my Internet access is somewhat limited so there’s less temptation to “sneak away” from work. Instead the distraction is the background noise of whatever is in the Netflix queue.
Today it happens to be Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations” which is one of my favorite shows. While I was doing laundry, making dinner, and writing (yay multi-tasking!), I had an episode where he visited Laos playing on the TV.
There’s a reminder in this episode about the tens of millions of unexploded ordinances left over in Laos from the Vietnam War era, but that’s a topic for another blog post.
And there was also a piece about Tony visiting something called the Plain of Jars. It was one of those things where I heard the words and despite my immersion in my current project/world, my brain immediately spun off onto one of the tangents it is so famous for.
“Oooo!” My brain says. “That would make a fantastic title. I have no idea what the story will be about, but it will be a fantastic title.”
Protesting does little good at these points and usually I just ride the wave. Sometimes the idea fizzles and is forgotten as fast as it arrives, lost to yet another idea or the more mundane task of not ruining dinner. But occasionally it sticks. If I’m in the middle of something else, I’ll scribble out a few pages, notes, etc and then return to whatever I happen to be working on. If I’m in between projects it’s full steam ahead, baby!
Ironically, this is exactly how my current project started. A few years ago I was lying on my couch one afternoon in December staring at my Christmas tree and my eyes locked on a tatted star.
Like a hammer to my forehead the story idea nailed me. First, the image of a man with a star tattoo on his cheek. Of course I wonder who he is, what he’s doing. But before I can even ask the question I’m nailed again. This time it’s the image of a woman going toe-to-toe with the starred man. I scramble to my laptop and scribble out the opening scenes to what is now Behind The Throne, the first novel in my Machiavellian sci-fi series.
This is how most of my books start. Only time will tell if the Plain of Jars incident will actually develop into a story I can write or if it was useful for nothing more than inspiring me to write this blog post.
Though that could have been the cake vodka I was drinking also. *grins*