Updated: Jul 2, 2020
In the Grand Scheme of Questions Posed, Every Author Knows This is the Biggest and Realest One
As I sit down to write this new post, I'm struck with wondering how I'm going to be able to continuously generate new material for this blog as I go on. I know I will figure it out because I am always learning new things when it comes to writing, but if any of you have a topic you'd like to see me discuss, I'd love suggestions.
How is quarantine creating going for everyone? I've seen two schools of thought on this and that is a mass amount of creation, whether in your desired field or not, and a large group of people who can't even muster the strength to have new and original thoughts.
There are, of course, varying degrees of these two camps, but I can bet that most of you are feeling a little bit of one or the other.
As I've mentioned before, I am in the camp of being able to create things that have nothing to do with my own writing. I've done some sketches in my sketchbook and I'm creating blogs when I can. I even got a ghostwriting project out to some beta readers for a client. But, as far as my WIPs go, I haven't touched them in months.
It has everything to do with the quarantine and isolation.
Honestly, no one ever tells you how difficult it is to move thoughts around when your being is stagnant for too long. While my location is a normal writing environment for me, I typically get out into the world and have a chance to move and interact with other people to get inspired.
Though I cannot get out into the world as much as I'd like right now, the good news is that I'm here to inspire you into your next project!
Think of yourself as an island. You are the only one who can create the writing you desire. You're the only one who can do what you need to in order to make your imagination flourish. This is a beautiful thing.
When I'm living alone and life is "normal", I'm able to build worlds and universes. When I think about my writing projects and how I decide which direction to move in next, I mostly go by intuition and what I'm feeling most inspired by.
For many writers, I know that one novel idea doesn't always lead straight into another, though. If you look at Harper Lee, she had an entire lifetime between To Kill A Mockingbird and To Set A Watchman. This is not unusual. And if it takes you that much time to get another book written and published, I am in awe of you.
That is a level of perseverance that I don't believe I have.
On the other hand, there are also those writers who have a million (exaggerating) book ideas that flood their minds constantly.
I am definitely one of these people.
My current ideas and works in progress include (but are not limited to):
All eight books of the Soul Hunter Series
A children's book about ants
A dark fairytale set in the Peter Pan universe
A novel about a nightclub run by a secret cult
A dystopian political novel
A series of short stories about grim reapers
If you're counting, that's at least thirteen book ideas processing in my brain at any given time, and that's just what I could remember to tell you about here.
So, how did I decide what to write after finishing Carnal Knowledge? And more importantly, how does any writer decide what to pick up next? Well, short of flipping a coin, I really just started plotting.
It seem cliché, especially since writing a full novel can take a lot of time if you let it, but for me, plotting always seems to move things. The ability to ruminate on the events of my books helps me.
Since the Soul Hunter series was a big project, I decided it would be best to know what was going on throughout the overarching plot at the very least. As I did, I started filling in plot holes and felt inspired to pick up a main character for Soulkind.
The beauty in discovering that one character eventually led to the creation of nearly all of the characters for the other books, too. Through plotting, I realized some of it had to deal with reincarnation and time jumping, so I also had an opportunity to explore that, as well.
World building and character development are probably my favorite parts of writing. If I had the chance, I would plot my works fully and then hand them off to ghostwriters to get them done.
This isn't always how it works, though.
At one point earlier in the year, I was browsing a social media site and came across a post about real faerie folklore from Ireland. With truly nothing to do with any of my other book ideas, I started thinking about the fairies I knew of in other stories. As the dots started coming together, I came to the glorious question, wondering how different Peter Pan would be if Tinkerbell was actually dark and sinister.
Sometimes, the connection from point A to B is not always linear, but so long as you follow the path, anyway, I'm sure you'll come up with something awesome.
And as always, just start scribbling. You never know what will come up!
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Lexi Mohney is an award-winning, self published author and a book coach living in Ann Arbor, MI. Throughout her writing and coaching career, she's lived by the motto of courage, and worked with her own coaches, groups, and support system to see her Big Audacious Dreams come true so that she can help others achieve success, too. Her first published piece, Carnal Knowledge, won an award at the 7th Annual Bisexual Book Awards in NYC on June 1, 2019. She is in the process of querying agents for her latest novel, Soulkind, which is the first in the Soul Hunter Series. Contact her through her website or find her on social media with any questions.