“And Then” Remedies

Corporate LadderLast week, I wrote about my “and then” being broken, and lamented about not having ideas about how to advance my current work in progress, Corporate Ladder. Well, same day I wrote that, I came up with two phenomenal ideas from two different sources.

First being from Jamie Raintree, fellow member of Women’s Fiction Writers Association. I’d mentioned on WFWA that I needed a brainstorming partner, and she rose to the task, God bless her. She didn’t provide me with any specific ideas, but just having someone to bounce things off of was a terrific help. At the very least, we came up with the behavioral altercations I can expect to make to Debra Chandler as she becomes more and more obsessed with making money, and as we discussed this, I began picturing ways to bring her through her subtle changes.

I’ve had the privilege of brainstorming with someone only a couple of times. I’m beginning to believe that’s one of the benefits of belonging to a physical writers group, where everyone is committed not only to getting their own works done but to helping others get theirs done. I hope, if you’re lucky to have such a group in your community, you join it. I finally joined the Houston Chapter of ACFW, Writing on the Storm, as part of my New Year’s resolution. Since it’s a two and a half hour drive for me to attend, we’ll see how well that’s going to work.

My second idea came from the Hallmark Channel. They’ve been showing reruns of The Good Wife, and since that’s a show I’ve always liked, but rarely got to see, I’ve been glued to the set during their marathon runs. In this show, Alicia has a husband in political hot water, and while he’s waiting out time in jail, she has to support their family. She’s a lawyer and landed a job with a large firm. There aren’t too many places more competitive than large law firms–and she’s been in tough competition with another to fill what few junior partner spots are open in the firm. Having her husband in a mess, dealing with the politics of that, raising two children with the help of a judgmental mother-in-law, working–and being successful–with a variety of cases, and competing against someone who understands how to compete all make for a gripping show. And I watch hour after hour, because I’ve missed several seasons.

The last show is over at nine, and one night, after I flipped off the TV and rolled over to sleep, the thought popped in my head that Debra needed a competitor. That really kicked my “and then” machine in!

When I sat down to the manuscript, I realized I already had everything set up for this last ingredient, and frankly, I’m surprised I hadn’t already thought of it. I managed to finish the week, meeting my 1000 words/day goal daily. I haven’t made up for what I missed when I stalled, but hey, the point is, I’m writing again!

Writing lulls always scare me, for some reason. But you never know where ideas are going to come from. Brainstorming friends, TV shows–or, like with Give the Lady a Ride, something the hubs says. It’s great to be able to latch on to something and kick-start your muse again.

Ready to write!

About Linda W. Yezak

Author/Freelance Editor/Speaker (writing and editing topics).
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7 Responses to “And Then” Remedies

  1. I congratulate you, Linda! All artist have temporary dry spells, but the art is in our blood and sooner or later, it starts flowing again. After all my years as an artist, I realized I looked at the world differently that those not interested in the art. I don’t see just a tree or a lake or creek. I see light and shadow, form and texture. Same with writing, we see plot structure, character development and the whole host of other elements involved in the craft. Something will always spark that creative flow, and we are off on the mad dash to get it down on canvas or paper. Glad to hear you are currently in the dash phase!


  2. Yea! 🙂 It’s always nice to be putting words onto the page!


  3. K.M. Weiland says:

    Regarding figuring out character motivations, etc.: I’m sure you’re aware of Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi’s new books, The Negative and Positive Traits Thesauri. If you don’t have copies, you should definitely invest. They’re a goldmine of characterization ideas.


  4. Lynn Mosher says:

    Sounds great! Sometimes, inspiration comes from the strangest places, doesn’t it?


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