That’s where I am now. As I go through day to day life, these snippets of ideas keep hitting me, and I’m overworking my mind trying to figure out how they fit together. I was doing the final publication work on Metamorphosis when I got the idea for my lead character. I wrote a short journal story with the scene as it came to me, but that scene lead to more questions than answers: Why was she being launched to the outer reaches of the solar system for a criminal conviction? What did she do? Why was she being sent out there alone? Who are these “others” who gave her a crystal, and sent her back to Earth? What happened to the prison colony she was being sent to? Was she sane? Was she even a protagonist or antagonist?
I’m not sure if I love or hate this part of the process. Beginnings are exciting – and irritating. I tend to overthink things, trying to squeeze the story out of the explosion of idea that hit.
Ever since that day in late February, it’s been bits and pieces. Yes, there should have been a colony out there, but it’s gone. And I’m thinking she was convicted because she’s a hacker that got into a system that did widespread damage, perhaps hurting or killing a lot of people. But there are still more questions than answers. Where did the colony go? Why hasn’t anybody noticed it was gone? Why was she hacking into whatever she hacked into that did so much damage? Who was talking to her at the outer reaches of the universe? Was it “other beings” or did something happen to the other prisoners, and they somehow evolved into something else? Was the Willow sent out to the Kupiter Belt the same Willow that was coming back? So now I’m researching string theory, multiverses, and mental illness. I’m leaning away from aliens and magic since I’ve already done that, and it’s time for something new. And I still don’t know what’s up with that crystal. They called it a key, whoever “they” are, and said that our universe had been locked, but the key, if used properly, would unlock it. Fabulous. Unlock it to what? And why are we locked in the first place?
This is why writers are crazy, and why we drink. You’re going about your day, driving to work,or processing an application, or setting up a meeting, or IN a meeting, or frustrated over something that didn’t go as you expected (or some other surprise), or happy because it did go right, or grocery shopping, or cleaning, or eating Bar-B-Que, and BAM! It’s aliens! It’s clones! It’s multiple universes colliding! It’s a mentally unstable hacker a thousand years in the future fixing to hack the universe into even more chaos than we already have, if that’s even possible. It's missing space stations! It’s that crystal – AGAIN! Then you’re back, wondering how you got mustard sauce on your shirt.. And you cuss because you just did laundry last night.
All I can do is research the elements and pray this story comes together soon, before my coworkers see these notes on string theory and forces of nature tacked to my cubicle wall, and put me in a mental institution. Or maybe I need to relax, and let it flow. Cutting back on TV may not hurt, either. Maybe it will help clear my mind when the DC shows run their finales next week, and I don’t have their fiction mixing with my own. Everything influences the muse, you know. But I’ve still got to wash this darn shirt. At least I didn’t get it on my pants, too.
That’s all today. Have a Happy Friday and a wonderful weekend.