An idea is fermenting

The semester is over. 3000 words of essay have been written and handed in. For the next six weeks, I am free.


It might be time to start a new manuscript.


I still haven’t done anything with Sin Eaters. Grim is still kicking her heels. An older idea – one that I got about 4000 words into before jettisoning as so boring – has floated back into my head. It’s a sci-fi fantasy sort of thing, magic and junkheaps, and originally I got too into my head working out what sort of world it was, how they got there, what the monetary system was like. World-building is important, but doing it up-front seems to kill the story for me. The world becomes dry and dull, constraining the characters and plot, rather than a stage for them to play out on. I start out wanting to capture the aesthetic sense of the thing I have in my head, and end up with an empty construct with no soul. I think world-building might be something I have to leave until I know what the story is actually about.


And what’s this one about? I have no idea. The original concept is based on a dream. It was one of those dreams you get really into, one with lots of characters and a love interest and a really neat magical mechanic. There was danger and excitement and passion. And then, naturally, I woke up.


At this point I’m no longer sure what the main character was like. I was in her head at the time, and she didn’t look into many mirrors. In some ways that’s rather exciting. I can make her whoever I want. I’m realising that my brain wants to default to “scruffy, short, angry red-head”. I need to mix that up a little.


I downloaded the Scrivener trial a little while ago, and went through some of the tutorial. (It is LONG.) I’ve never used it before, as it essentially just does what a word processor and notepad do on your computer. But, I’m considering giving it a shot. I like things. That’s why I have so many notebooks and pens. When it comes to note-making, notebooks are my go-to, but I’d like to give proper plotting a real try, and Scrivener looks like it’s good for that. It’s hard to plot seriously in a notebook, because you can’t see everything in one go. Scrivener’s flash card/cork-board things look like they’d be helpful for that sort of idea-building and scene-rearranging. I have about 25 days left, so I’ll see what I can get out of it in the month of June.


No excuses, time to get started! And where better to start than a baby names website? It’s time to give my girl an identity.


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