Friday, November 17, 2006

Ideas

So I've been struggling with plot for my spy story. (It's fourth in the queue, but I kinda think about my stories in my head, before I focus on writing them.)

A letter came from my editor today, asking about a certain story with a certain plot, with this and that element. My mind starts racing and twisting, trying to turn all the ideas upside down so that it's fresh and original.

Even when she doesn't send a request, I'm always working within pretty clear guidelines. Ten chapters, 3800 - 4200 words each. My mind just starts racing, trying to find the most creative way to work within the guidelines.

But take my dream: to be NY-published. I stare at a blank page. Everything I write isn't good enough. There are no rules.

I had a thought, though. Maybe I should try making up rules, and then force myself to work through them?

I've always said--and heard said--that the stricter the form, the greater the creativity. Anyone have any thoughts? Advice?

2 bonus scribbles:

StarvingWriteNow 11/18/2006 07:14:00 AM  

From what the agents and speakers said at our conference, it was hinted at more than once that the tide is turning more in favor of quantity rather than quality in the fiction business. Unfortunate, but true.

By form, do you mean an outline of what you want to write about? Or just word count and chapter length?

And by the way (grin) if your characters are having sex in every chapter, how are they getting any work done? (just kidding...)

Bernita 11/18/2006 09:02:00 AM  

I like to have the plot blocked out beforehand in my head as well.
Strict rules can also stifle creativity. It's probably a 50-50 thing. But in the context you mention, yes, it can be inspiring to the inner rebel.