A new story

After what I suppose could be considered writer’s block (I’ve been writing short stories but not a book for a while), I have an idea growing in my mind for a book.

Short stories have been fun to write because, to me, they feel like distilling an entire book into one scene and trying to make it a story in and of itself. While some of my short stories I think would make great books, I haven’t felt particularly inspired enough to flesh them out.

Thus, I was really happy to get the idea for an opening to the new book. Like what often happens to me, I was about to go to sleep, thinking about the book, when the opening lines came to me. I used to have a notepad near my bed, but smartphones have quite a few uses, I think.

I used to just start writing the book once I got an idea, but I would get annoyed having to stop every now and then to figure out the logistics (what’s the character’s name? Where are they in the world, if they are on our world?).

To try and create fewer frustrations, I have lately taken to going through the logistics beforehand. I also try to have a loose plot in my head before I start.

For me, figuring out the plot is best done when I’m doing some sort of mundane task, like household chores. Lately I’ve been gardening more than usual, cleaning more than usual and trying to deep-clean some of my appliances (like the washing machine) all so I can have a mind free to tease out the plot from the tangled mess of images in my head of the story.

I suppose meditating would work better for this sort of thing, but I like being productive while working on the story, so I’m happy when I advance the plot along in my head while also pruning my trees and such.

I already wrote down the first lines of the book, and I have a tentative title, but the ending is still a bit of a mystery for me at the moment. I really want to start writing, though, so maybe I’ll just have to hope one is revealed while I write.