This image pretty much sums up my blogging ideas last week for today’s post.
A few topics surfaced now and again, but none of them drove me to my computer, compelled to set down a torrent of words before they escaped my grasp. This was a good situation, though. Because it seems my creative brain wanted to play with other ideas. You see, it’s been flitting from story to story to story, although never alighting on one long enough for me to begin writing. Yes, three stories. Now, please don’t groan and roll your eyes at my apparent inability to stick with one. These aren’t new stories per se.
You see, as my mind visits these ideas like a butterfly on summer flowers, the characters’ whispers grow stronger, something I haven’t heard in too long a time. Meghan still leads the way. Patiently, like a skilled rider regaining the bit from a bolting horse, she’s reining in my self-doubt. And earlier characters have taken notice and are following her lead.
Earlier characters like Madeleine O’Brien, who now suggests ways to tighten Death Out of Time by simplifying the plot, removing/replacing most characters, and holding back others for a later book. Earlier characters like Katharine Donnelly, who now is apparently willing to make changes to her story in Summer at the Crossroads and will talk the other characters into major revisions.
I never said “goodbye” to these characters when I shelved their manuscripts. I knew I would enjoy visits with them over the years, even if we never came up with a “publishable” or “marketable” version of their stories. And they never stormed off to leave me for a writer in some other universe who could make their life stories “entertaining” as they actually happened. Well, maybe they have shared with other writers…. But even if they have—they haven’t left me. They won’t let go. And I’m forever grateful for that.
I do wonder why they couldn’t take turns with their ideas, though. Then I could approach the stories sequentially, wrap up one, and have the next cast offer its ideas for revisions. I have my doubts, though, that any of these characters will want to wait in line. I’m not complaining, even if I may be scheduling time for each story. Or working on one while the ideas are hot and then moving to the next when the Muse brings in another round of possibilities. But after months of near silence, I’m happy to hear those competing whispers again. Thank you, all you characters, for refusing to give up on me.
Of course, there’s no saying the revised stories will be more “successful” than the originals. Madeleine and Katharine and the others know this, too. But they want to try, even to the point of letting Meghan help them and work with them. Three women. Three archaeologists. Three different stories. One writer. What will emerge? Only time will tell.
But that notebook isn’t looking quite so blank just now….
How are your creative endeavors going as we wind down the dog days of August?