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05-19 Sarah Raplee – Riff on 7 yrs. Of SPAM & a Giveaway

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The 2 AM Art of Writing

When people ask where I get my ideas for a story my quick answer is I channel them from somewhere in my subconscious. I believe this because I get these 2 AM wake up calls with story ideas and whole outlines ready to go. The trick is getting it all down on paper before the inspiration passes. This happens to me all the time and I have a notebook filled with early morning musings to prove it. Once the idea and basic outline is on paper, I fall easily back to sleep.

The next day, I take a look at this “great revelation” and see if it can stand the scrutiny of the morning. If I still find the idea excites me then I will work on the outline, do a bit of research and then decide whether or not to move forward.

Oftentimes, I’m in the middle of another novel or project when these little brain storms drop their rain of inspiration, so I can’t start on them right away. So they will sit in my notebook, awaiting their turn at greatness. What this means is I always have a story or two waiting to be fleshed out. For me the biggest challenge is controlling that urge to abandon the current work for this new and exciting something! If I did this, nothing would ever get finished.

For example, I’m writing a new series of erotic romantic comedies. I finished the first book in the series and have just started book two, when suddenly the edits have arrived for book one. My love for my current project is so strong, that it takes great discipline to put book two characters on the shelf while I tidy up what was written months ago.

My biggest challenge is too many ideas, not enough time. Do you struggle with finding new ideas or with keeping on track with multiple projects?


Karyn Good said...

I wish my flashes of inspiration came complete with outlines. That's awesome! I keep track of new ideas in binders and jot down things as they come to me otherwise 'poof' they're gone.

Good luck juggling your edits and your current project!

Christie Walker said...

Thanks Karyn
I wish I could clone myself so at least one of me could work on the new book.
Happy Writing!

Judith Ashley said...


I've also gotten that 2 a.m. wake-up call. No point in ignoring it so I get up and get to work. It isn't so much an outline for a new novel but usually is a scene or chapter complete with dialogue, action, setting - I can see it, hear it, smell it and taste it.

Staying with a project until it is finished has been a learning process for me. I've found that it works so much better to just get the first draft written.

I've certainly had another character in my series want her story written NOW but I've been able to keep on task once I've done something to appease her. (Ashley now has a physical pressence around the computer with dragonfly cup and stickers).

Cloning would be good though - my clone could do the housework, laundry, etc. while I write.

ElaineCharton said...

Some of my favorite books started out as dreams. Unfortunately not with outlines,:)

Christie Walker said...

The outline comes from sitting up from 2 am to 4 am noodling the idea along. I can't sleep until I have a rough outline. Just weird that way.

Sarah Raplee said...

I have four books waiting with most of the 'pre-writing' done. Like you, my problem is too many stories and not enough time to write them all. But I'm not complaining!