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Friday, June 1, 2012

Don't Be A Lazy Writer

Last night I could barely sleep, and for three reasons:

1. It was far too hot.

2. I had zombies on my brain (pun totally intended) and every little noise was making me jump.

3. Ideas for my next novel were flooding in and couldn't be stopped! (Not that I'd want them to be stopped, of course.)

"I just want a hug.  That's all."

When ideas rush to me, I have to write them down before they escape into thin air.  I can't tell you how many times I used to say "I'll remember this in the morning" and then wake up the next morning and not be able to recall what it was.  Usually, I'd remember that I had an earth-shattering idea that would alternate reality as we know it, but couldn't remember for the life of me what that idea was.  I could've ended hunger, demolished the obesity epidemic, cured cancer, wiped away the national debt, and so much more if only I had written down those lost ideas!  Seriously!  (Okay, maybe I exaggerate here, but I've lost a lot of story ideas because of not writing them down.)

I'm totally in love with this idea.  So much so that I already have ten (10!) pages of notes on it, including character backgrounds and an underlying plot.  The best part is, after searching all around, I can't find any book out there yet even remotely similar to this idea!  (I've been waiting for an idea to come to me that is completely new and fresh and has nothing similar to it out there.)  It combines two (maybe three) of the most popular genres but does not seem to have been done yet, which makes me very happy.  I don't think the idea is too "out there" to be completely rejected by the reading community, especially people who enjoy these two major genres.

Seriously, I can't wait to start writing this story.  It's becoming so clear to me that I have to actually try to take the notes and then mute it so I can focus on my current project.

But what excites me so much about this idea isn't the thought of when it'll be done, published, and read by others (well, that thought does excite me, too), it's the thought of being able to explore this idea and see where it goes, to be able to dive into this world and become the characters.

The thing I've loved so much about writing my zombie novel is the fact that I'm there experiencing it all as it happens.  Each character is a part of me, and when I write I become them (I call it "method writing," but I'm not sure if there's actually a term for it or not), one at a time.  I know everything there is to know about every single one of them, even things they don't know about themselves.

So here's a big tip for all of you writers out there: don't be lazy!  Write an idea down when it comes to you!  You'll be thankful you did.  There has been dozens of times when I look back over notes to find part of an idea that I completely forgot about and then incorporate it right in to my story, and it makes the story so much stronger.  My whole zombie novel is based on a series of dreams, and most of the notes I have were written at 2am, 3am, or 4am after having seen something in a dream (so keep a notepad next to your bed, or do what I do: use a "Notes" app on your phone or text it to yourself).

Keep writing, and keep taking notes!

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