inspiration / writing

Inconvenient Ideas

Hello everyone. There seems to be a lot of chat about spring on GHB right now. I’m the kind of writer who finds winter really hard – if I was a bear, I’d hibernhibernatingbearate – so spring is a joyful time for me, even if the March wind is roaring outside my window more like a lion right now!

Winter is sort of my writing thinking and composting time, even if I don’t always realise it, and spring is the time when new ideas grow, and start poking out of the ground. That can be a little bit inconvenient if you’re in the middle of writing a long book, as I am at the moment. I’m really concentrating hard on zipping back to Ancient Egypt and Rome with my Cleo(patra) character for the second half of her story, and absolutely loving the way the idea I had some years ago is flowering and bearing fruit. What is a little inconvenient is that because my mind is in full creative mode, all sorts of other little green shoot ideas are popping up as well, all jumping in the air and clamouring for water and air. So what do I do about them? Tell them to form an orderly queue? Tell them to slide back into the earth of my brain? Ignore them? It doesn’t really work like that!

Ideas are so fragile at this initial stage, that ignoring them might make them wither away and never come back again – at least I’m always afraid it might. There’s a fizzy energy to an idea when it first arrives, and it’s best for me to capture that at once. It doesn’t usually take very long, either. So I make a very quick new file on the computer, get down everything I know about the idea, maybe even writing a paragraph or two of the story, and then I save it in my Ideas Box folder.

imagesWhen I’ve finished writing the book I’m working on now (it’s called CHOSEN, by the way, and it’ll be coming out sometime next year), I’ll have the lovely job of sifting through all those perky little green shoots and deciding (with my lovely agent) which one I’m going to plant up and nourish and grow into a proper big book plant for my next writing project.

What happens when YOU have ideas at inconvenient moments? I’d love to know.

Out now from Piccadilly Press UK & Grosset and Dunlap USA: Beast Keeper and Hound of Hades (Beasts of Olympus)”rippingly funny…offers food for thought on everything from absentee parenting to the mistreatment of animals (even immortal ones).” Publishers Weekly US starred review

Coming in May 2015 from Orchard, Cleo (UKYA historical fantasy about the teenage Cleopatra VII) ‘A gripping and exciting read’ Armadillo magazine

Lucy’s Website  

Follow Lucy on Twitter or Facebook

Lucy teaches a regular Guardian Masterclass on ‘How to Write for Children’ 

Lucy is represented by Sophie Hicks at The Sophie Hicks Agency


2 thoughts on “Inconvenient Ideas

  1. Well, it does kind of roll about in my head – all of them do. It’s a bit like having a tune you really want to play, but knowing you have to turn it down because that piece of music needs to be in the background for now.

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