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Where do ideas come from?

This is a common question. For me personally, ideas aren't a problem. I started out at a very young age developing my own characters and universe. Some I drew (rather badly) others were names and characters given to action figures. Eventually I started writing about them.

This morning I had an idea breakthrough that was tied to an idea I had in August which was tied to an idea I had three years ago on needing to emphasis a certain minor character for the second draft of one of my manuscripts.




Someday I hope to publish a series of books that span ten thousand years of the universe I created when I was young. The series will run the spectrum from epic fantasy to what I call Science-Fantasy (as the magical abilities (though I do not use the term magic ever) do not fade away as technology rises). The futuristic ones center around two sets of storylines. One is a traditional military science-fiction starship commander and the various space battles between governments. The other is more of an espionage-based storyline following a series of agents and double agents that show the underbelly of what goes on behind the scenes. These two very different worlds are embodied by two brothers: one is the rising star and the other runs the black ops missions. While the battles are fun I try to center everything around these two brothers and how their actions impact their relationship with each other and their family.

Anyway, getting back to the original point of this post, while I was on vacation back in August (while standing in line at a ride at Hershey Park) an idea for a fantasy/mystery stand-alone story popped into my head. It will be a few years before I will be able to write it (based upon the books I have planned to write first in the timeline) but the central idea of the mystery has been bouncing around in my head. I knew there was more to this idea than simply having it in this one story.

And it got me to thinking last night about the tail end of the ten thousand year timeline, when events that take place at the very beginning come back around, when promises and prophecies made come to fruition. Essentially when the epic fantasy element reinserts itself quite prominently and dynamically into the futuristic society.

So, I realized that I finally knew when that countdown should begin. And then this morning while in the shower of all places, I realized who would set that countdown in motion. What character in what book this would be triggered. Lucky for me I actually already have a hand-written first draft of that book from nearly twenty years ago. Oddly enough three years ago I sat down with this book firmly in mind (not to write it but to make revision notes for the future when I would be writing it) and I wrote the new opening scene which featured a character who I quite like who in the first draft has a small sub-plot. I realized three years ago I needed to bring this character and his story to the forefront of the novel. I knew it was important. I just didn't know the real reason why.

And this morning in the shower it hit me. I knew exactly why he would be the central character or rather the reason for the actions of the central characters. And suddenly events from my as-yet-to-be-written stand-alone fantasy/mystery book found their final repercussions reverberating nearly nine thousand years down the timeline in this book.

So, even though this Science-fantasy book won't be written for many years to come I now know what to shoot for, what I can start foreshadowing even in this first novel I'm working on.


Now, to get back to my current WIP. If I don't finish this one then the above novels won't get done either.

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
angeladegroot
Oct. 15th, 2008 11:09 pm (UTC)
I'm never short of ideas either, just short on time to devote to them. Ideas break throughs and tie-ins feel awesome, don't they. You can almost see the light bulb.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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