Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Finding New Words

“Of course I hang on tight, she said. You can’t believe the kind of stuff that happens when you let go.”

Anyone watch American Idol last night? I watched the first 3 seasons devotedly, but the last 2 I sort of lost interest. It’s been interesting to watch talents like Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood make it big, though, and you wonder how many other really talented singers there are who never get discovered.

Or how many really talented writers there are who never get published…

I was working on a new (well, a serious revision of an old) 24-hour novel yesterday and BAM! This idea for a completely new story leaped into my mind like it was about to take up residence for the long haul.

I brainstormed like crazy for about an hour and churned out an outline that I really like. The I reluctantly added it to the file of “Story Ideas” while I returned to the one I was actually working on to begin with.

Do you ever do that? Find yourself torn between ideas?

Side note: I’m reading The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards right now, quite an interesting story about a doctor who delivers his own twins (this is 1964) and when the daughter turns out to have Down’s Syndrome, sends her away with the nurse and tells his wife she died at birth. The nurse, rather than give the baby to an institution, leaves town and adopts her. And that’s as far as I’ve gotten.

I like the author’s writing, and I think the story and the characters have a lot of potential. The one thing that’s bugging me right now? Every other chapter, she refers to a baby’s (or even a small child’s) hands as “stars” or “starfish.” Well, yeah, it’s a good image, but it’s getting overdone.

Ever notice writers who do that? Use the same mannerisms or comparisons or phrases in the same book or from book to book? I haven’t decided if it’s an author’s mark, making it sort-of OK, or the inability (or lack of desire) to think up a new turn of phrase. Ah, well.

1 comment:

MaryF said...

Funny, I just started watching AI the past two years!

And yeah, I've been torn between ideas. Tough choice!