Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Brain Drizzle

brain drizzle is what occurs when you don't have enough ideas to have a brainstorm.  or too many ideas to choose from that no single one of them amounts to much.

 trying to come up with what i want to write about for nanowrimo.  luckily, it's still a month away, because i have NO idea what i want to write about.  i thought about expanding on a short story i wrote about a year ago.  i have enough material in it i think i could expand it into a novel, even without using the material i already wrote for it.  which would be added to the expanded story, but not counted in the 50K word count for the challenge.  i could actually do that with any one of three short stories i wrote while in my senior year at OSU.  they are all short stories i have wanted to revisit and expand on.  i think it's mainly between my stories Underdeveloped and Joshua Tree (which would need a new title, for serious).  i love the character in both.

Underdeveloped stars Caleb and Jamie.  Caleb is a recovering alcoholic and an underachiever, and content that way.  His best friend Jamison died of alcohol poisoning one year before the main story takes place.  Jamison's death was a wake-up call for Caleb, and he struggled for a year to get his own drinking under control.  By the time the short story takes place, he hasn't had a drink in about six months, but still feels the urge almost every day.  Enter Jamie, a girl who injects herself into Caleb's life.  She is erratic, manipulative, and a compulsive liar.  Her presence, her name, and her disregard for the sanctity of dead memories disrupt Caleb's complacent existence, but start a friendship that is a lot like iodine on an open wound: painful at first, but ultimately beneficial in its cleansing properties. 

The original short story takes place over a single day and is about how Caleb and Jamie meet.  The material I want to add to it would explore Caleb and Jamison's friendship before Jamison died, Caleb's ensuing alcoholism, and the longer effects of Caleb and Jamie's friendship and possible romance.  I want to stay away from romance, though, so as not to descend into cliches.  This is not a romantic comedy.

But as I said, I think I have enough material here that I could write a novel with it. 

The second short story I wanted to expand is Joshua Tree, the story of Ben and Hoosh, two guys who have a chance encounter when Ben picks up Hoosh as a hitchhiker along a highway between small reservation towns in Nevada.  The story takes place over a couple hours and mainly deals with their short but impressionistic ride together.  They leave a mark on one another.  I have wanted to go back and revisit this story for months, but I don't know what I would add to it.  Bringing them back together after Ben drops Hoosh off at his destination seems unlikely and more like writing fanfiction for myself than anything.  Just because I want them to get back together and develop a stronger bond doesn't mean it should, would, or even could happen.  I could seriously write a novel about them taking a trip from Nevada to Alaska, inspired heavily by my own drive from Oklahoma to Alaska.  But I have no idea why they would make the trip.  It bears some thinking over, though.  I love the characters, and I would love to revisit them.  They totally would be gay for each other by the end of the trip, btw.  XD  I may not actually include that in the story, but in my head, they would totally be in love.

So, yeah... a couple possibilities to drizzle over. 


  1. Oh, NaNo! I have taken part a few times, but I only managed to get to the end and the 50K the first time, in 2004. Looking back at the story, it wasn't that great and a lot would need serious editing/complete re-writing, but whoa, 50K in a month sure was something to be proud of for me! I've tried again several times but always had to give up. If you can keep up every day, that's good, but I found that even one day under the 'recommended' word count would mess it all up for me.

    Damn, now I wish you hadn't mentioned NaNo. For the 2nd year in a row, I'm thinking of unofficially doing it to make some serious progress on Jum. Argh!

    But best of luck coming up with an idea! That's always the hardest part and it makes me wonder how on earth I managed to make it in 2004. Well, I know how; it was one of those stories that had been slowly developing itself in my head for years, way before I even thought I could write anything half decent ^_^"

    I remember both your stories, and while I did love the Joshua Tree, I don't see how you could easily expand on it either. But the Caleb and Jamie has a lot of potential. I hope you go for it (if you don't suddenly find yourself under attack from a brand new plotbunny that would last for 50K, that is ;p)

  2. 50k words in a month IS something to be immensely proud of, and if you've done it even once, I salute you! You should definitely try it again (and be my buddy when you do)! Do it, doo eeeet! XD

    The more I think about it, the more I think I do want to expand on Caleb and Jamie's story. Ben and Hoosh will just have to wait, it seems.

  3. (Urgh, where did my comment go?? Anyway…)

    I just remembered that I'll be away from Nov. 22nd to 30th and I doubt I'll be able to write during those days, so maybe I'll simply do it "unofficially" for 3 weeks. If I do manage to write every day, that should move the story along nicely.

    But yay for Caleb and Jamie!!

  4. aw, yeah. well, you could definitely get a lot of writing done in three weeks! go for it!