Last week, edits for the third book in the Lila Maclean series were due (and by “edits,” I mean big revisions) AND final grades were due (and by “final” grades, I mean multiple stacks of projects to be commented on plus final calculations for four classes). I stumbled across the finish line somehow (it’s a miracle, frankly) but I couldn’t form sentences for awhile, and truth be told, my brain power hasn’t fully recharged yet.
Yesterday, I remembered that this post was due, and I couldn’t think of anything to write about. Usually, I’ll have some little spark that ignites any given item of writing, and everything follows from that.
It’s a whole process. It may or may not resemble the chart on the left (I confess nothing), but it definitely requires the spark.
So I thought and thought and thought. No spark.
Thought some more. Nothing.
Then this happened.
Me (to husband): I have a solo post tomorrow for Chicks, and I don’t know what to write about. I can’t find my spark.
Sixth Grader (over his shoulder as he walked by): You should write about a giant monkey robot octopus who blows up an island that the aliens took over.
Seriously? In one second? That’s more than a spark.
In fact, it’s all there.
Not just giant robot, but giant monkey robot, plus octopus!
Not just giant monkey robot octopus (so many character questions) but also action (explosion) and setting (island) and conflict/backstory (aliens took over).
That’s a whole book!
And couldn’t you see it going full-on movie too?
So wonderful, how his mind works.
It was fascinating.
My ideas do NOT come in all gloriously complete like that; they are much more more wispy and elusive. Actual sparks that led to books > “secret society” and “haunted opera house.” That’s the kind of shorthand delivered by my cosmic creativity channel.
Clearly need to boost up with some giant monkey robot octopus power, stat.
Also, if we could bottle the creativity of kids, we would be unstoppable. Just sayin’.
Readers, do your ideas come in fully formed? What do you do if they don’t?