Friday, January 14, 2011

In the Deep, Dark Corners of Your Mind

I've been busy with writing an alternate ending for my yet-to-be-titled Novel #4, so I haven't even been thinking about my writing goals for this year yet. Or so I thought. One of them was to revise Novel #3. [In case you were wondering, it actually has a title: Wild Genius.] Even though I got some positive feedback from an awesome critique buddy and some regulars at Critique Circle, I struggled with it and put it aside. For months.

A few days ago when I was waiting to fall asleep, the story for Novel #3 drifted into my mind. Except it wasn't the story I wrote. It was better! After a few minutes of mad scribbling, I now have a new structure for the book, a better ending, a feeling for the tone of the story, and who my main characters are and want.

The brain is a mystery. It would be cool to know what makes it work like this, so I could make it happen more than every once in a year or so.  Have you ever found that something lurking in the deep, dark, corners of your mind turned into a brilliant idea? Did it work out?


  1. Any book that ends up working for me usually happens just the way you describe! I can't make it happen - though I sure wish I could! I write drafts of the story and get something satisfactory down, then set it aside feeling vaguely dissatisfied. Then, like you, I'll be falling asleep, or washing dishes, or walking the dogs and - bam! - out of the blue comes that aha moment that turns the story from satisfactory to really good. I don't understand how the brain works either, but there's something about the subconscious, or about letting a story percolate. Those moments when the hands are busy but the mind is free seem to be especially effective. But it certainly doesn't always happen. I've got plenty of stories that are written but not good enough (yet!) So I'm very grateful any time the deep dark corners of my mind decide to help me out :)

  2. I love how the brain works like that. The answer comes when we're not thinking about. I belong to CC too, but I haven't been active in about a year. Do you submit to the children's? What is the title of your work?

  3. I remember Wild Genius. I'm glad you had an ephipany about it--it was a good little story. :)

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

  4. Susanna, I wish there was a way to get the "conditions right" so it would happen more often.

    Wow, Laura, it's a small world sometimes! That's cool.

    Thanks, Angela. Now I just have to get myself organized to do the rewriting!


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