Tuesday, April 3, 2012

What the Creative Process Looks Like (Sometimes)

I was standing in a bookstore with a close friend, reading aloud the titles and authors and commenting on them, when he spied a single word on a spine. Half, it read. “Hey, I have an idea.”

He proceeded to sketch the outlines in the air. What if you wrote and published a series—book one, two, three, and four—and then wrote books 1½, 2½, 3½, and 4½, before bringing them all together in book five? The half books would cover the events between the full books.

What order would you read them in?

Any order you wanted. You could read one through four, and then the half books, finishing with five, or you could read them in numerical order—one, one and a half, two, two and a half. If you were really ambitious, you could read the half books first, then the whole books, always finishing with five.

It would be hard to make sure that the plotline made sense and was still interesting without spending too much time describing what had already happened. I’d have to be careful not to bore my readers.

Maybe there would be two characters—a brother and a sister—and the main storyline would be from the brother’s point of view, then the half books would cover the sister’s point of view.

I don’t know… I can’t cover the same events from different points of view. That’s still boring.

How would you work around it?

I know! If it was me, I would separate the brother and the sister, have them only interact briefly in the plotline. The sister would be a somewhat mysterious figure, she wouldn’t sink to the background, but she wouldn’t directly meet up with the brother very often. Then, in the half books, you would see that seemingly random events in the brother’s storyline were directly caused by the sister’s actions. That’s how I’d do it.

It would be a very complex storyline.

I’d have to write the plot out beforehand, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to weave it as tightly as I’d like.

That makes sense. Half Books, we could call it.

Half Books. I like it. I really like it.

Maybe we can make it work.

I don’t know if this idea will ever go anywhere, or if I’ll be able to create and write such a complex storyline as the idea demands. I do know that in the space of five minutes my friend and I tapped into the source of inspiration.

Those five minutes were electric. I don’t know what causes inspiration, be it the elusive muse or God himself, but whatever it was, it was in the bookstore that night. If I could live every moment like that, I would never thirst again.

When have you felt inspired?


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks. It's really tempting to write it, but I have to finish Heaven's Wrath first. :)

  2. Ooh, Meg Cabot's Princess Diaries series has half books that cover events not in the main series. It's obviously not the tightly-written type of thing you thought of, but it is still a fun idea.

    I love those moments of inspiration like that. Recently I've been working hard on my novel, and I've been amazed at the times when I've had to freewrite things I omitted from my outline--so many times, it just comes together perfectly. It makes writing such a joy when you are tuned in to that level of thinking.

    You need to finish Heaven's Wrath so you can start your new project! ^.~

    1. Oh, I haven't read those books, but now I definitely have to. *adds them to the list*

      *grin* It's always amazing when the words flow like that. If only it worked that way all the time... <3

      Haha, good plan! *goes to work*