I step back and admire the wall. It’s an expanse that stretches the length of my writing office, but more. It’s bigger than it looks because it’s curved just enough to add a couple feet to the length.
So, what’s on my brainstorming wall? A fresh coat of ideas, put up this morning with the help of some close writing friends. (I actually started writing this post last night, but distractions abound.) I’m trying to sort out my notes, matching them with the colored splashes on the wall. Still looking for that juicy tomato–wait, there it is, under the alfredo splotch.
“What the hell, love?” My Muse appears beside me. “Were you finished with it? The old storm? I thought you were still working on the revision.”
I glance at him. He’s dressed down in black sweatpants and a faded UCLA sweatshirt. “Slumming today?”
He shoves his sleeves to his elbows and crosses his arms on his chest. “You’ve been doing well, young Padawan.”
“Um, yeah, don’t do that.”
“Do ‘Star Wars’ lines. Your Australian accent just doesn’t work with the whole Ewan McGregor thing. Or Liam Neeson. Or whomever.”
He puts a hand over his heart. “That hurts.”
“Har, har. The draft of my WIP is based on the old storm. This here is for the next round of revision.”
He approaches the wall, then swipes a finger against a grape jelly splash. “What’s this one?”
“That’s the one for compressing the FAA investigation timeline. I think it’s a great idea. I just have to figure out how to work that in with how long the victim was dating her current boyfriend, not that it’ll matter in the big picture. It just ups the tension for the main character.”
“So, what you’re telling me is I’d better take my vacation now.” He licks the jelly off his finger.
Um, give me just a moment. *mental side trip* Sigh. *fans face with hand*
“Why do you need to take a vacation? I’m working on my WIP every day. You haven’t had to kick my ass the past couple weeks. I thought you’d be enjoying this smooth run.”
“Oh, I am, love.” He wraps an arm around my shoulders and squeezes. “You’re doing great. Keep it up.”
If you have close writing friends, use them for sounding boards when you have a story idea or plot knot. I’m fortunate to have my writing sisters. They’ve been instrumental in the plot revisions for my WIP, and their suggestions have made the story far stronger than it started out to be.
Writing friends are also good for reality checks, simply because they’ve had different life experiences than you have. I have a stalker in my WIP. One of my writing sisters had some insight on stalkers/predators, and reminded me how someone would really behave if they had a stalker in their past.
Whew! Caught it before I got too far into revisions.
These days, technology allows us to keep in touch with people all over the globe. I’ve got writing friends I’ve never met in person, but whom I feel I could hang out with at a coffee house or library (well, maybe not library–might get too rowdy 😉 ) for an afternoon and talk writing.
Gotta get back to it. My Muse is starting to pace.