I’m out of ideas. I probably need to go for a run, but the ragweed has a hit out on me, so it’s nearly impossible to go running. But I’m out of ideas. My sequel is suffering. Probably because I have too many ideas in it.
That’s where all my ideas have gone, jammed into the space of thirty-five pages. Don’t we all do this in the first draft?
It happened with the first novel, The Mess We’re In. I started with a small idea: What happens when a television production comes to a small town? It was really more of an observation than anything. I was driving near where they shoot The Walking Dead and had a weird sense of deja vu on this backwoods road. (I really think it’s one they used for one of the Rick running scenes, I swear!) The entire weekend I thought I would run into the cast of the show at Steak ‘n Shake or Target, or worse: zombies on the road. Sadly, I did not. But it got me thinking: how would the townpeople handle being invaded by a show like that, where you could run into an actor every day and have your town taken over to the point that your life is majorly disrupted.
It only seemed natural to place the story in Georgia, because the filming industry is becoming massive here. It’s one of the largest economies and employers here. It was a natural choice. Especially when you want to challenge a Southern way of life, which doesn’t necessarily welcome outsiders with open arms. Oh, we’re nice, but we’re going to watch you carefully.
Other subplots manifested and it just slowed the story down. They didn’t make sense. It was like I was throwing things against the wall to see if it would work because I had no idea where I was going. Honestly, I didn’t trust myself enough to believe the story would work pared down. I also didn’t trust the characters enough to guide me through the smoke.
Now, I’m doing it again. I have the major plot in place, but I’m finding that I’m adding these subplots which I’m not certain I want to be there. I’m not sure the characters want it there. We’re not speaking at the moment. I feel like I should get a cheesecake and we can sit at the dining table in the middle of the night to discuss our issues.
So I am stumped. My mind can’t settle on a specific route to go, and I don’t want to have too many ideas in the sequel that I will just have to take out during the revisions. I waffle on how I want things to unfold. I may just get a dartboard out and select which ones go that way. I don’t know.
I just wish I had an idea.
Until next time…