I was going to plunge into a new writing project a few weeks ago. That was a funny idea in itself given how unfocused I’ve been in recent times but what was even sillier was that the idea I had come up with was terrible.
Terrible might not be the right word. I’m sure every idea has merit, somewhere, hidden, deep down inside. Maybe someone else could make the idea quite a workable writing project. It won’t be me.
It doesn’t really matter what the idea was. I’m sure we’ve all had flashed of inspiration and then realised that they were all flash and no substance. This was worse than that. It was all flash and no substance but left a really bad smell lingering in its wake. The kind of smell that sits on your shoulder and whispers in your ear that there is something to the idea. It isn’t dead yet. The kind of smell that makes you keep returning to the point of origin but you don’t have the heart to get rid of.
This idea was dead on arrival. I should have just dismissed it, jotted it down in one of my endless notebooks and gotten rid of it, and yet something kept drawing me back. I kept thinking I could, somehow, make this idea work.
Many failed plot plans and an opening chapter later, I finally conceded defeat. Should I have admitted it earlier? Most definitely but it isn’t all bad news.
I came up with a name. And then a face. And then a brilliant idea for a character. Since then I have planned a really intriguing plot and run it by a few friends who have helped me tweak the idea and fix it into something that is more or less workable. The name and the character were part of the failed idea. What made me decide to call the other project dead was the fact that I loved this character I had come up with and hated everything about what they were doing in the original outline. I took the character and cut the rest loose.
Maybe this is just my flimsy rationalisation for holding onto things I shouldn’t, but I think that I needed one idea to die for another to come about. It worked at least and I am ready to plunge headlong into the fun process of beginning a first draft.
Comments are closed.