Thursday, December 9

The Journey of an Idea


For me, ideas are a dime a dozen. I never have a hard time coming up with something to write, it's the coming up with a sustainable idea that takes work. At any given time, I'll have an idea folder full of either one sentence or several paragraphs of things to think about for future stories. Sometimes there are pictures like the wind time turner or simply a title. But it's the cultivation of those notes that often lead me to my next project.

Today, I'm going to talk about my current work-in-progress, Bix For Short and not only, how I came up with the idea, but how I developed the idea.

It all started a couple of years ago, with my eighteen-year-old daughter who looked about thirteen. Seriously. She's four ft. nine, size 4 shoe, and just looks young. I told her someday she'd appreciate her youthful looks and that's when she said, "Eternal youth sucks!"

And I said, "What a great title." And wrote it down as soon as we walked in the door. I put it into my idea folder and there it set for a few months while I worked on my dystopian novel.

One day while I was driving, I heard a voice. The voice of my sixteen-year-old hero. He didn't like being short either and he was starting at a new school. D'Ann has visions, I hear voices.
At every red light, I was scrawling down what Bix was saying.

So, I had my character and his voice, but I didn't have a plot. I knew he was new to a school but I didn't know why. I wrote a couple of chapters because I couldn't shut him up and then I gave those chapters to a few trusted critmates and also sent the first chapter to author Jennifer Brown, whose critique I had won in an auction.

My crit mates loved his voice and Jennifer Brown wanted to see more than the five pages I'd sent her. She also asked if I knew where it was going. So, I had to sit down and figure out at least part of it.

That's when I came up with the witness protection angle. Bix and his mother were relocated in the witsec program. I still needed more. So, Bix's absentee father turned out to be an assassin. Along the way, there's been more character creation and development. And more plot creating.

And now, Bix is now coming into his own at Cypher High. At 56,000+ words I'm now creeping up to the end--it's a slow creep, but it's coming. Cypher has gone from being a small town to a small town with a big secret. And Bix is more than just a short kid with an attitude.

And to think it all started with a simple outburst, "Eternal youth sucks."

7 comments:

  1. Love that story Margie, and Iove Bix.

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  2. I *knew* there was somebody 'real' behind Bix! Great story, Margie...

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  3. What a great story. And how I envy people with enough ideas for a folder. :-)

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  4. But when does the eternal youth part come in - does he get bitten by a vampire in book #2?

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  5. Bix for short? is that the new title? love it!

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  6. Thanks guys. And no vampires, Christi. I changed the title after you brought that to my attention. I never even realized what else that phrase would mean, especially in today's vampire-fueled literary frenzy. I was just thinking of a kid who wants to look his age and always looking younger, like my dd. Someday I should post her pic so you can see what I'm talking about.

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