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Tuesday, January 06, 2009

I ♥ My Subconscious

I was asked a couple of weeks ago to be part of The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance 2. The problem was that I had no vampire ideas and had pretty much said that in 2004 when it was suggested I write a vampire romance back then. So even though I agreed to be part of the collection of short stories, I had to gulp as I said yes. Not only did I have to write short--something that isn't natural for me--I had to write a vampire love story.

This is new territory for me in another way as well. Always before, the characters have come to me first and then I worked to fit them into a project if I needed to. This is the first time ever that I had the project and the parameters of it first and nothing else. No characters. Not anywhere!

Panic didn't quite set in, but I was soliciting help from my writing buddies. I had a chance to chat with one of them and she suggested an idea. It wasn't the direction I was leaning, but it was interesting. I spent three or four days mulling it over, but I wasn't getting scenes or real characters. What I had was a lot of talking and not good dialogue. It was complete info dump stuff.

And then I heard this voice in my head. It was feminine. She was a vampire, she'd been in love with a demon. Hmm, I thought, this could be interesting. I heard about vampire clan structure--at least what she knows of it--but that was about it. No conflict. No real story.

Then yesterday, as I was walking out to my car from the Evil Day Job, I hear--in first person--that demons and vampires are enemies. I think I just found my conflict! I still don't have a story, and figuring out the short part is going to be a huge challenge, but I now have a heroine! I don't know her name, but she's there. The hero is hanging around, too, but he's still shadowy and I don't have a good grip on him yet, but I can see him and I have an idea on his name.

This is why I totally ♥ my subconscious. It went to work and came up with an idea I'm actually getting excited about writing. The other fun thing is though I hadn't planned to do much world building--not in this length--I'm getting all kinds of info there as well. How cool is this?