Tag Archives: idea

NaNoWriMo Book Addict

book addict 2

Week one of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) 2014 is in the books and I think I have written a grand total of two sentences in my new novel.  And to be fair, the second sentence was an edited version of the first sentence, which itself will really need to be edited, so really it’s a wash.

 

Not looking like a promising start you might say.

 

I’m not daunted in the least.  You see, I have a grand idea, and while I was ready to go half crazed rough draft mode for 30 days, my stronger inclination was to take it down a notch and actually give the idea its due with a full outlining.

 

It probably wouldn’t surprise anybody who knows me to hear that on November 1st, instead of writing, I read a book.  What can I say, I’m an addict.

 

ad·dict

 verb \ə-ˈdikt\

 

:  to devote or surrender (oneself) to something habitually or obsessively <addicted to BOOKS :D>
:  to cause addiction to a substance (BOOKS :D) in (a person or animal)

 

 

 

Did I ever mention I really like books?

 

Said book, Screenplay by Syd Field suggested I shouldn’t start writing (a screenplay or novel) without knowing how my story ends.  It makes sense.  Writing is a journey, do I want to wander aimlessly or know my future destination before I leave the front door?  Was there actually a question in there?  I’m not exactly a fly by the seat of my pants type of gal, so I pretty much need to know.

 

That posed a conundrum.  My great idea for a story didn’t include an ending.  Come to think of it, that other half written great idea ruminating in my computer’s memory banks, suffers from aimless wandering in the search of a true destination as well.  Hmm.

 

Brainstorming session:

 

Day 1: What if?

 

Day 2: Maybe I could?

 

Day 3: How about?

 

Day 4: That doesn’t sound too bad.

 

Day 5: Okay I think I’ve got it.

 

Day 6:  Really?

 

Day 7: What if maybe I could,  Yes!

 

I know where my story is going, and I even know all the stops along the way, call me a planner and slap  me with pen and paper.  Time to go half-crazed rough draft mode on this beast.  And relax.  If I don’t have 100,000 words written in 20 days, I’ll live.  I have something better yet, a road map to a destination, and a treasure at the end of the line.

 

I’ll take that over out of gas on the side of the road any day.

 

 

 

It started as an Idea

 

 queen pubai cylinder seal Lapis-lazuli cylinder seal found in the grave of Queen Puabi /(Shubad) in Ur province Iraq.  (2600BCE).

This was my first Idea.  Notice the capital “I”, it was a big one.

idea

 noun \ī-ˈdē-ə, -ˈdēə also ˈī-(ˌ)dē-ə or ˈī-dē\

: a thought, plan, or suggestion about what to do

: an opinion or belief

: something that you imagine or picture in your mind

Having almost finished my rough draft, I finally decided to describe the pendant my protagonist had been wearing the entire story.   The pendant needed to be very old and very distinct.  Antique just didn’t cut it so I went straight for ancient.  And voilà, a picture of a Mesopotamian cylinder seal surfaced and I knew immediately I had found what I was looking for.

Not only was it the answer to my question, it sparked an Idea, a picture in my head, a suggestion, a plan.  I had to do more research.

A dozen  books, and hundreds of web searches later: 

The ideas have taken on a life of their own, and led to more ideas.  That’s how good ideas work.  Mesopotamian cylinder seals led to Sumeria, led to Sumerian mythology, led to the most heinous creation myth known to women kind, led to more ideas, led to more questions, led to fictional answers- You get the idea.  The Sumerian culture, embodied in the cylinder seals they created is idea fodder.

And all those ideas led to a belief: there’s a story here, and I’m going to tell it.

Also in case you are interested, Cylinder Seals date from as early as 3500BCE in and around the Mesopotamian Valley (current day Iraq).  They are typically carved from stone or gems and were a form of signature ,-complete with cuneiform text- the impression being rolled across wet clay.  They also functioned as jewelry and magical amulets.   Although a fairly large number of cylinder seals still exist from ancient times, certain engraved themes can be quite rare.  

The cylinder seal in my story is truly one of a kind, (of course it is, I made mine up) and fills the roll of sacred object.  That is, it reoccurs in the  story enough times that it becomes a symbol, think of Cinderella’s shoe.  It symbolizes – well, I’m not going to tell you what it symbolizes.  Why?  Because I just figured it out for myself just now.  Yes, another idea spawned from my unlikely cylinder seal.