As I mentioned in my last blog post, I’m in the midst of sending out queries for my novel, The Fallen Princess. To distract myself from obsessing over my inbox, I’ve been focusing on my current work-in-progress, a young adult fantasy set in medieval Germany. Lately, though, I’ve been a little . . . stuck.
Sometimes when I’m writing, I don’t want or need input, because the words and ideas come so quickly. I know exactly where I’m going and how I’m going to get there. This is not one of those times. For over a week, I’ve been mired in plot issues. Usually I can unstick myself by going for a long walk or running a few mindless errands. But when the ideas just don’t come, I need a good brainstorming session.
By brainstorming, I mean talking through various ideas and being receptive to whatever is thrown back at me. It’s a great way to test out the possible paths my story might take. Some concepts may seem great in my head, but sound hopelessly jumbled when I try to describe them. Over the past year, I’ve learned that if something is too hard to explain, then it’s probably too convoluted.
My critique group, my writing friends, and even my husband have helped me muddle through a lot of my ideas. My favorite brainstorming buddy, however, is my daughter. Not only is she well read, but she has an amazing imagination. Oh, to have the imagination of a teenager—no holds barred, anything is possible, the world is wide open!
We do some of our best talking when I’m in the kitchen, baking or preparing dinner. Once we start riffing on ideas, coming up with plot twists, and creating character motivations and elaborate backstories, my mind opens up. I can see possibilities where there weren’t any before. Usually, at the end of our sessions, I’m ready to jump back into my writing. So I think we need to schedule a little time together, and maybe bake some brownies while we’re at it.