Friday, December 3, 2010

My Oun Buch

"My Oun Buch"
That's the title of Little Monster's first book she wrote several weeks ago.  I'm so proud *sniff*.  Now she's cranking them out faster than me, and comes up with great ideas like "All obaut Ranbos" (she gushes about rainbows in this one- I think she saw the double rainbow orgasm guy on youtube).  Or the classic, "All Obaut Haus's" in which she channel's Lady Gaga's Haus of Gaga to write eloquently about different colored houses (plus she's all about the diversity).  And then she dabbles in horror with "Stars in the Sci" in which you think its an innocent book about stars in the sky, but then the Wicked Witch of the West comes and eats the stars. 

I'm not gonna lie.  It can be hard to come up with some good book ideas (and blogs for that matter...geesh, how do you people do it every day?).  Everyone keeps telling us, it has to be unique!  It can't be the same old stuff we see every day (but at the same time, they seem to gravitate towards what they think will be popular).  Agents want that twist that will catch their eye, and publishers want good books they can sell.  I'm always so worried my idea isn't "original" enough, or my voice isn't strong enough, or it's just missing that "something".  And don't get me started on queries!  My hands are shaking just thinking about writing one.

So here I am, on the threshold of editing my own novel, and I'm scared I just wasted a year of my life writing the dang thing.  I wish I could crank them out on a whim every other day like Little Monster.  Life would be so much easier.  I'd have a million awesome stories to choose from (like the all-popular "All obaut graps and abbles and boobares and tmatos and urnges that come off of chrees" in which succulent grapes, apples, blueberries, tomatoes and oranges fall off trees and cover the ground...I mean, c'mon- genius!)

But I do have a ton of ideas that just come to me, so I guess I'm lucky that way.  I'll just be standing around and BAM, an idea forms and I have to jot it down or else I'll lose it.  I've always been like that- making up stories, daydreaming and imagining myself in different worlds.  I think thats why I love fantasy so much.

So this brings me to that all-important question everyone has to have at the end of their blog posts that makes you (my dear readers) think:

How do you come up with your book ideas?  Do they just come to you while you are doing something completely unrelated (with me, it's always when I'm at work scanning books or entering requests- totally inconvenient!), or do you have a time where you have to sit down and think deep and hard about possible stories?  Do you gather inspiration from the world around you, or do you look within yourself to find that perfect voice?

Happy writing people, and go eat some booberes and some stars for me.  I'll just be at my desk tearing my hair out and weeping silently over my current WIP while Little Monster bangs out her millionth novel.


Summer said...

My ideas generally come to me in a small form, like a line or a feeling.

The novel I wrote for NaNoWriMo came out of my desire to have a female MC who had witnessed her husband's murder, but it had taken her by surprise too fast for her to be able to intercede. That's turned into quite the epic sci-fi/urban fantasy idea.

I'd say that's how most of my ideas come to me--I'll wonder what kind of story a certain character might fit into. And then I'll think about it randomly for days or weeks or months, until I've got the right setting, and then I'll actually sit down and start writing notes.

I don't worry about perfection, and neither should you. Just write what's in you, in your own voice, and it will be unique. Make the prose as beautiful as possible, and it will stand.

Becky Fenske said...

I say let's get Little Monster a publisher NOW!

Colene Murphy said...

You definitely did NOT waste your time! Your novel is so good!! Just gotta know you can do it girly!

Your daughter is so cute. lol. You could definitely do some adorable childrens books off of her stories.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

The idea for my book came from part of a novel I'd written years ago. Had to change almost everything though. Trying to finish the sequel now, and I think I threw about every idea in the world into this one. It also came from a short piece I wrote ages ago but now bears no resemblance to the original.
I guess if I need to think of something completely new, I'm in trouble!

Jessica Woodruff said...

I agree with Colene...what a cute idea to write a children's book with LM....I mean her words, ideas, pictures and you just tweak it a little...brilliant!! I wish I had awesome ideas...I usually just steal ideas by googling :)

Donea Lee said...

This is sooo adorable!! I love your Little Monster's book ideas ~ :) So awesome when they start at such a young age!

And I'm sure your wip is fabulous as well and the edits will fall into place. Don't lose heart! It's all good.

My story ideas like to hit me randomly - dreams, tv shows, music, other things I read, dreams, straight out of nowhere while I'm buying groceries. I think some of my best ones have slipped away between waking and showering (where's a darn note pad when I need one!!) Today, for example...I dimly remember a potentially creepy horror novel idea featuring Bradley Cooper...hmm.

Demitria said...

I always get random ideas while day dreaming...some have substance while others are better left as's hard to tell which is which sometimes!

Maggie said...

I want to babysit Little Monster and write stories with her. :O

Haha, my inspiration comes at inconvenient times too. Usually when I'm zoning out in class, or when I'm somewhere busy and can't write the idea down. (Ahh, the greatness of scribbling on hands!) They come at random times from random things. I think I'd go crazy if I had a sit-and-think time; my mind would go blank, for sure.

But I guess I get ideas from the both the world around me and myself. I'm a terrible eaves-dropper (one word? no clue), so anytime I hear something funny or profound or whatever I'll write it down. Basically I can get ideas anytime, so that's good. :)

And, to add on to this mile long comment, don't be down! Just because Little Monster is abnormally genius, you shouldn't give up! Patience is key to happiness. Or something. I'm sure your novel is amazing, and it'll be even better once the edits are through, and then you'll write a fab query and snag an agent within an hour and auction in a week and WOOHOO YOU'LL BE A NINJA! Seriously, I'm known to see the future, and this image is very clear in my brainz. :D

Also, run on sentences. Yeah.

Amanda Borenstadt said...

Delightful post! :)
My kids helped me a lot on my NaNo novel last month. They love writing stories too.

My ideas come out of nowhere. I have to keep paper handy for unexpected ideas no matter where.

Guinevere said...

Little Monster has the advantage of no self-editing or self-doubt at her age. That's how she makes it look easy. :) But, you're brilliant and you're going to be just fine too.

Also, this totally makes me look forward to having kids - so ridiculously cute.

erica and christy said...

I swear my stories speak to me in the shower. The fact that they're primarily 12-through-18-year-old boys is only a bit creepy. I swear they're only voices (no eyes, thank goodness for all involved)!!!!!!

The shower is my only time alone. So if someone in there can hold my attention for 10 minutes (or however long it lasts), I'm willing to listen. Sometimes they hold my attention for quite a while after that. Yay!!
(and cute books by LM. she's a natural)

Dangerous With a Pen said...

Awwww... so cute! My 8 yr old Tootsie Roll writes a lot, too, and was perfectly confident in walking up to Mo Willems at a book signing and handing him a book she wrote based on his Knuffle Bunny books. Ahh, to be young and writing. ;)

My ideas often come to me when I'm driving to work (I guess I'm on auto pilot and my brain needs something to do? lol) but my ideas always develop more in the shower - I have to agree with erica - my only alone time! :)

Alex said...

Sounds like the kids got a vibrant imagination!

I get idea's and thoughts aplenty, and at all times and intervals. I just don't think they're all capable of being fleshed out into a book. I try to stockpile and categorize them in memory for when they would fit as a good piece in a book or the one I'm working on.

For me a book is just one of those ideas I decide to follow through on and really flesh out.

I don't think I could really conceive of anything as whole as that in one single session. Maybe other people do though. Possibly the plotters do this, or at least are much more capable of pre-construction than I am.

Amie Kaufman said...

Please tell me you're going to post some of Little Monster's best work! I really, really want to see the Wicked Witch eat the stars. Show those other villains how it's done!

alexia said...

I love this post! I agree with Amie, I love the idea of the witch eating the stars - that's so awesome! My son comes up with cool ideas too - kids are just uninhibited, whereas adults have to analyze and doubt themselves. Last night we were talking about cemetaries because we participated in the big Jingle Bell run through the downtown area and passed the creepy cemetary. Then he randomly said, wouldn't it be funny if you could go underground and all the skeletons were having a party! And I thought, that would be so cool!

I get a ton of ideas from dreams (I have completely crazy random dreams). Sometimes I think when I'm dreaming them that I should write a book about it, but when I wake up I realize its not that cool. My current novel didn't come in a dream, it sort of came to me in bits and pieces, first the main plot line, and then everything else.

I know it's hard to keep the faith, I doubt myself all the time. But writing a whole novel is a huge accomplishment! The fact that you even did that is amazing. Yes, editing and querying is usually hard, but most things worth achieving are.

Shayda Bakhshi said...

I think disillusion is totally normal after finishing a novel. In no way, shape, or form did you waste a year writing it. You poured yourself and your skill and your knowledge into this book.

But there's--at least with me--a very strange and discomforting feeling of bereavement when you finish a novel. You go through a bit of a grieving process.

It's okay, though. It's normal. Plug away at those revisions, and you'll be golden!

Story ideas are, of course, another beast. My ideas come to me in the form of the situational character--the character basically begs a plot somehow. Unfortunately, these come to me in flashes of inspiration, and that's hard to harness on command. I got my most recent idea while I was watching Highlander. Highlander meets Ballet Shoes, actually.

I can't make this stuff up.

But again, all you need is one good idea. And they come. :)

Jennifer Shirk said...

Every time I think I'll never get another idea, I get an idea. LOL Usually they pop in my head when I'm NOT trying. When I try...nothing happens. :)