Friday, January 25, 2013

Sometimes A Writer Has a Flash of Brilliance

This week was intense for my "day job" and on top of that, I totally lost my voice, so there wasn't much writing happening over here. But in the midst of not-writing, I did have a couple of flashes of brilliance.

Flash of Brilliance #1

This one was thanks to Project Mayhem and their "I Have A Dream" contest. In the process of rewriting my query once again to enter (because I hadn't revisited the query for a over three months and I'm a little obsessive about these things), I suddenly got a flash of brilliance.

Okay, it remains to be seen whether it is brilliant or not, but now I know how tweak the novel to bring out something that was missing from my main character's motivation. So, participating in the contest was definitely worthwhile. Thank you, Project Mayhem!

Writing Tip: If you get stuck when revising, going back to the query can help keep you focused on where the story is going. See also a great blog post on this from writer Janice Hardy in a guest post over at QueryTracker: How Much Can You Really Tell From a Query?

Flash of Brilliance #2

Sometimes keeping something in your novel because "it's cool" can lead to problems. The character ends up doing something to fit the cool scenario instead of the story coming from the character.

In my second flash of brilliance this week (and again, it remains to be seen whether it really is brilliant or not), I realized that one of the "cool" scenes in my novel didn't fit. I ended up cutting and rewriting to create a couple of scenes that fit better with what my character wants, making her reasons for acting much more personal and meaningful to her, and not just convenient for the plot.

It's so great that what I'm learning about from blog posts and my reading -- I'm currently reading agent Mary Kole's Writing Irresistible KidLit -- is finally starting to sink in.

Writing Tip: It really does all come back to what the main character wants, because that's what drives her decisions and actions.

So, when was the last time you had a flash of brilliance?


  1. I think I should go back to reading Mary Kole's blog. Glad it's been a good week for you writing wise.

    1. I often read her blog posts - they make me think!

  2. Just now--I was like, I should read Andrea's blog, she's being brilliant over there! I was pleased to see it was true. :)

    Otherwise, I am due for a flash in my WIP. Feeling a little less than brilliant lately, but plugging along nonetheless.

    1. Ha! I love your sense of humour, Kristen.

      I think that all the slogging through and pushing along is what sets the stage for the brilliance to happen!

    2. Okay, the above comment is from me (Andrea) not Chelsey (my daughter was logged into gmail on my computer). Her name isn't even Chelsey, that's our dog's name.

  3. Hi, Andrea -- or maybe Chelsey. :)

    I'm not sure when I've last been brilliant. But I do like my mystery plot pretty well. :)

  4. How wonderful that you had two great ideas about important parts of your MS. Best of luck making the changes. Great advice!


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