So here is the deal with SMOKE.
No, no, no, don't panic. I didn't add more words to the 117K that I'd already done.
*whew* You say.
No, I just wanted to talk more about it. Not in terms of plot or anything because, duh, you wouldn't read it if I did.
Instead, I wanted to share how long it had been in the WIP box and how you should NEVER throw away ideas.
We writers are strange creatures. Yes, you knew this already right? We spend as many hours thinking of stories as we do writing them.
It's TRUE! I swear! Ask any author if you don't want to ask me.
Anyway, yes, when those glorious plot bunnies pop up in our heads we find anything, absolutely anything to get it down. Some of us have fantastic memories and we're able to remember. While others find anything to jot it down with. Lipstick, crayon, pen, pencil, and of course, any electronic device.
I've never done the lipstick, but I have done the crayon before. I have a pretty good memory, but sometimes that brain won't be functioning correctly so it's always best to write it down or tap it into my phone.
As far as SMOKE is concerned, I'm not sure how it came about, just know it's been on my WIP list for almost four years.
Yes, that's right. 4!
The plot line was agonizing, because ...
I'm not fucking telling you! *inserts maniacal laughter here*
Sorry, I can't. I'd give you the basis of it if I were self-pubbing. I'll tell you this much. It's a writer, a fireman, and a businessman. That's all. Oh and it's interracial, and angsty and that's all I'll say.
Anyway, SMOKE was an incomplete idea. I had a couple of scenes and because I'm more of a panster, I didn't have the plot set up for this story. I only knew who I wanted to "star" in the book. If you look back a few posts in this journal, you'll see the muses for the story. I started to put them on that graphic, but ... yeah, no. Those RF stock models will do.
Back to the story. While letting it fester, I wrote a couple of shorts on it. I participated in a freebie sharing group called Wednesday Briefs
and actually wrote 3 different scenes for SMOKE. None of those made it to the actual book, but I saved all three as a reminder for the story.
When I started it last NANO, I had those small parts as well as the muses faces on the page. All I had was a basic idea, and seemingly the more I wrote on it, the more it started to flow through my fingers. Even when I took a break on the story, I was still able to pick up where I left off without an issue. Actually, I'm thinking the break was the best thing I could've done because it went so smoothly after that. Sure the characters took me on a rough ride, but hey, that's what makes a more intriguing book.
Now, I've often talked about how endings are an absolute bitch for me. They still are, and this book was no exception. I do believe that I ended the book correctly though. It had a nice epilogue that showed a beautiful scene. The characters seemed satisfied with it too, so I'll just have to see what the feedback will be from the betas.
The moral to this story? NEVER throw any ideas away! Regardless of how bad that story sounds, how choppy, or whatever, it might turn into something big later on. SMOKE might have never been written if I didn't want to do something out of the ordinary. Well, at least out of the ordinary for Michael.
Writing is like a journey that takes us on different paths each time. Some might stay on that same path, while others, like me decide to wander off onto a different one. Sure the road was bumpy and it did take me a long time to complete, but I'm glad I did. It was an excitingly frightening experience, as every book is. And it all started with 3 scenes and a half ass idea.
Writers, don't concern yourself with how many ideas are in the WIP folder. Most likely, unless you write at the speed of wind, you'll never finish them all. All those half ass ideas and small notes, might end up being something bigger in the long run. Cherish them all in the notebook, on the laptop, on piece of paper in a box written in crayon. They're all valuable whether you write them or not.
Okay so that ends this post.
This is the WIP list now.
Or instead, why don't I let Michael tell you? Read his post here