The Idea Beast and A Novel With Bite

Ok. So, a while back I posted that I had found my niche.

For those of you that don’t know my writing history, here’s a summary: I began writing my first novel over a decade ago. The main character, Katherine, was born. I didn’t finish the novel because I had kids and stuff. πŸ™‚ Then, many years later, I started writing again and Katherine reared her head, sank her teeth in and hasn’t let go of me since. (And no, she is not a vampire, nor are there any vamps in her story).

I tried to shake her lose. In fact, I buried her, deep in the recesses of my computer.

This is where the Idea Beast comes in. It’s another little issue I have. When it comes to concepts, I am an overflowing fountain. Unfortunately, for me, the novice noveller, this creates a sense of unsurety as to what in the heck I’m supposed to be writing since those ideas have no boundaries. One day I might think up a romantic comedy, the next day I’m dreaming up a dystopian world.

So…as I said…a while back I thought I’d figured out my niche. Woe is me. I was wrong.

The Awakening of Katherine Shaw is a part of me. When I couldn’t make sense of the very intricate web of a plot I’ve created, I gave up on her, with a lot of guilt that I had not done her justice, and I let the Idea Beast take over.

The Idea Beast kicked in, in the exact opposite direction of everything The Awakening was, which is sci-fi/fantasy. Before I knew it, I was writing excerpts and scenes of romantic comedies and I loved it. And more than that, I had several ideas, characters and all.

So…since I had nothing, and I mean nothing, anywhere near the realm of Katherine Shaw in the depths of my creativity, I assumed I’d barked up the wrong tree. Maybe fantasy wasn’t for me.

I thought that maybe Katherine Shaw was that first novel that should end up in a drawer somewhere. My first work: sucky, unfinished, and unpublished.

But oh, this Katherine Shaw chic has bite.

She basically won’t leave me alone until I finish her story.

I know her voice, I know her face, I know her passions and her fears. And thanks to her persistence, her world is finally making it to the page. A couple months ago, I pulled her back out of my hard drive and started working. Little by little, page my page, word by word, The Awakening of Katherine Shaw is coming to life.

And…so is the Idea Beast.

And this time, the Beast is heading me in the same direction as Kate, like she’s pulling me along.

I thought I might give you an example of what The Idea Beast is, for me anyway.

When it strikes, I get a world dropped in my lap. If I’m lucky, I get the characters too. Here’s the most recent example, and yes, thank God, it’s fantasy. πŸ™‚


     I saw the void in the woods.  It hummed and pulsed, and the trees around it withered, their roots stretching violently before turning to dust.  The ground beneath me trembled, and a quiet roar, like that of a thousand distant horses, echoed from the obsidian hole.
   The presence of evil was unmistakable, and as much as I wanted to run, I stood stock-still.  Fear has a way of trapping you, I guess. 
   My heart raced as the roar grew stronger, louder, and I turned my eyes toward the darkening sky.
   I uttered a prayer. 
  Up until that night I wasn’t certain whether there was any reason for such things.  Was there really anyone up there listening?  Were Heaven and Hell just devices of some ancient civilization who wanted to put fear in the hearts of it’s people?
   There was thunder now, and clouds rolled like violent breaths of  God.  My body went rigid.  I knew was in the middle of the last place on earth I wanted to be.
   The portal began to ripple and bow, and the sky opened up with a vengeance.
   No, I’d never really believed in Heaven and Hell.
   I did now.


What about you? Have you ever struggled with knowing what Genre is YOU? And how does the Idea Beast work on you?

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1 Comment

  1. I just blogged about almost the same thing. I am ALL over the board with genres and ideas in general. It drives me crazy but normally not in a completely bad way. Good luck! πŸ™‚