Today, as I drove about 300 miles round-trip for my weekly Canadian border run, I found myself with a LOT of time to conceptualize a novel.
What started as a thought where a good soul tries to talk a man down from jumping off from a bridge, turned into the skeletal form of what has the chance to be a detective thriller/noir! The last book I read was Stephen King’s “Mr. Mercedes” and I feel like a lot of the inspiration that went into the building of my plot was derived from that story, as I found it perfectly dark with a touch of comedy. Like Donnie Darko without the drugs.
So I ended up with about 15 minutes of recorded audio on my phone of me talking out and conceptualizing this idea that, quite frankly, I am very excited about. I had previously been forming a dark comedy but for now that gets put on the back burner until I have some more ideas.
One thing I am beginning to notice, is that using a voice recorder (Androids have one pre-loaded) is INCREDIBLY helpful when you don’t want to forget a thought. It’s so nice to be able to go to my phone and listen to myself as I was coming up with these character progressions, main plot and side plots. I had been told as a child that I needed to start using one because of my forgetfulness, but I always turned the idea down, as I thought it was impractical and would only get in my way. Now that it’s on an app in my phone, there is no excuse!
As I was picking up files from the Calais hospital, I caught myself listening in to people’s conversations and trying to use the information as inspiration for new minor characters. This turned out to be quite effective. Who would have thought that drawing inspiration from every day events could be so easy? And with the plethora of people I am in contact with daily for work, there is an endless number of character possibilities.
The absolute BEST tool to expand upon an idea is to ask yourself questions. For instance, when I came up with the idea of a man trying to help a potential victim of suicide, I asked myself “What could go wrong? What are the consequences of these actions? Why would this person make this decision?” Questioning your own ideas is the easiest and more effective way to develop your very own plot.
I’m still quite hesitant with actually starting to write the book, as I feel as if I need more scene ideas and a better feel for what I want the readers to get out of the story before I type away. Until then, I will be observing my surroundings and exploring the caverns of my imagination for ideas. My phone is sure to be blown up with at least 200 audio recordings before I’m ready to put “pen to paper” (I’m totally going to type it, there’s no way I bought this mechanical keyboard so I could do this old school)
So I’m really pumped for this! And yes, I plan to still post with my progress and with any more poems or anecdotes that come to mind that I would like to share, so this will still be active for sure. The blogging community is a useful tool for inspiration, and I won’t give that up again.
I can tell you this:
This novel is going to be dark.
It’s going to be grizzly.
It’s going to make you question my sanity and stability.
And I wouldn’t have it any other way