I'm not one of those writers who has so many ideas clamoring around inside my head that they're warring with each other to get out. Mostly I work with one idea at a time. It stews around in my head for weeks or months. Even a year. If I'm still interested as time passes, I'll write down the premise. Sometimes I'll jot notes to add to it. Describe characters I have in mind. Maybe even draft a rough outline. I'm not always that ordered and organized, though. Sometimes I use pieces of paper to jot an idea down then stuff it in my purse. They might linger at the bottom for quite some time before seeing the light of day.
Clearly I'm not someone who can take any idea and run with it. If a writing problem stumps me, I tend to wait it out rather than moving on to something else. So when something happens to spark a resolution to a plot or setting problem, my excitement for the project is revitalized.
My current project involves paranormal aspects of a well known nineteenth century work. I've always been fascinated with the Victorian era, but I didn't want to write straight historical. I'm not a historian or much of a researcher. I was having difficulty in ironing out some of the details. The last thing I wanted to do was rewrite an already perfect story, even if it was from a different character's POV.
Then finally, one of those evasive resolutions presented itself! During a scheduled #SpecFicChat on Twitter, I realized how I could resolve some of those concerns. You just never know where an idea is going to come from!
I had never read something I considered steampunk but had a sort of vague idea of what it was. Turns out that steampunk is closely related to the Victorian era. It could be past, present, future or alternate reality/history. There are no hard and fast rules, but the premise is that steam powered technology (with all the cogs, brass and gadgets, not to mention the cool clothing they wear) is used for what might be considered modern technology. Imagine a computer powered by steam being used by a Victorian gentlewoman!
All of a sudden, through the 140 character posts floating around, I'm provided with ways my characters can travel through past and future: just by adding aspects of steampunk. I'm going to use both fictional characters and real life historical figures, because steampunk is so wide and varied, with so many offshoots, that just about anything goes.
|This work attributed to Eugene Ivanov from Wikimedia Commons|
I found a steampunk blog called Steamed that was very helpful if you'd like more information.
My writerly resolution to a problem came through Twitter during a scheduled monthly Twitter chat. Woo Hoo!
Where do you get your ideas and resolutions from?
Do you stew or move on?
Do you stew or move on?