Thursday, March 7, 2013

Time to Start a New Story


It's that time. Time to start a new story.

Decision time. Which story idea bumbling about in my head should I start?

I've been working on two series. Crimson Storm has one completed manuscript, Sea Panther, which I'm currently submitting to traditional publishers. Highland Gardens has two completed manuscripts. I hope to self-publish Just Beyond the Garden Gate in late May, followed by Just Once in a Verra Blue Moon.

Since I've been in edit mode for those two manuscripts, perhaps I'll start the third story for Highland Gardens, which might be a novella. Maybe a novel. Not sure yet. The ideas aren't fully gelled.

Starting a new story is a lot like designing a new garden. A seed of an idea sets in your mind, hoping to blossom. Instead of perusing flower catalogs, I dive into research, using books, and the internet, and the knowledge offered by fellow writers. While the research continues, a plan evolves. For the garden, I use graph paper, templates and pencils. For my story, I use a storyboard, index cards, a notebook and a computer.

How do you decide what project to work on next? What tools do you use?

~Dawn Marie

4 comments:

Ana Morgan said...

I have two stories waiting in the wings, but ideas for new stories flit though my head often. I usually let them go, trusting they will swing back like comets in my internal solar system.
I brainstorm with my daughter for film projects, too. The process is always the same: She lays out her idea, we flesh out the main characters and the basic plot arc (start here, end up here). Then I generate horoscopes for the main characters and type out their personality profiles. She builds on that and decides if she has an idea worth pursuing.

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Hi, Ana. Generating horoscopes for the characters sounds fascinating.

Rolynn Anderson said...

I'm poised to write the third in a series about my boutique funeral planner. I'm going to a boot camp pre-conference session on Friday in Santa Ana...I've decided to do all my thinking there. Change up the process a little for the fun of it. I'm a pantser, so I like variety! I definitely will do a character chart. I like the horoscope idea, Ana!

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Starting a new story is exciting. Have fun at the boot camp, Rolynn. I'll also do a character chart, and I'm a pantser too. :)