New Ideas Are continuing to Distract Me

So you know I said I had that idea about a story from the pov of a Lau young woman?

Every time I turn around, I trip over some other aspect of that potential story that has just unfolded. Now this story includes:

A young Lau woman …

whose family is involved in something thoroughly nefarious …

so she takes highly illegal action to put a stop to something especially awful …

and then flees, disguised as a young man, intending to travel to Gaur and try to get Aras to take broader, more effective action to stop the rest of this nefarious activity …

so of course she has to hire a bodyguard …

who has a dire problem in his background

and he had been thinking of going to Gaur himself because of this problem …

and obviously he can’t let her hire the thug she almost hires, so he steps in and gets her to hire him instead …

and she can’t possibly get romantically involved with anyone because of the highly illegal thing she did plus her terrible family …

and he can’t possibly get romantically involved with anyone because of the dire problem in his background …

And this story is most certainly a romance now, isn’t it? That’s exactly the sort of problem you expect in a romance. Both the female and male leads have this insoluble problem that absolutely prevents them from being with the other person. Then that problem is solved in some unexpected way and boom! the way is clear for them to live happily ever after. In this case, the unexpected solution can’t be THAT unexpected, as the reader will of course assume that once Aras gets a look at the knotty problem in the way of true love, he will cut through that knot with one quick swish of a metaphorical sword. And so he will, of course. It may be a bit tricky, but I’m sure he’ll come up with something.

Also, speaking of swords, you know what is absolutely certain to happen in this story? This young woman has to fight with a sword with five minutes to prepare and gets advice from the bodyguard: STAB STAB STAB. I am determined to get that scene into this story. And yes, I’m now very likely to write it. I’ve got so much of it now, practically everything left is details that would fall into place once I started writing it.

You know, plots used to be just impossible for me, but I may have to stop saying that I can never work out the plot ahead of time, because ever since Tuyo, plots have been been outlining themselves in roughly the above amount of detail. Which is, for me, a lot of detail. Saying “Some kind of nefarious activity” and “Then they get into trouble on the way to Gaur” and “I’m sure Aras will come up with something” isn’t vague. In this context, it’s plenty to work with.

Also, I can now see that this story would have to have two alternating pov, just like a lot of romances. Both the female and the male leads would have pov sections. But this would be one story told straight through, probably a short novel length (for me that means from about 80,000 to about 120,000 words, and yes, it’s mildly ridiculous that I’ve started to think of anything less than 140,000 as “short,” but here we are).

Also, the backstory of the bodyguard tells me when this story is set: after Tasmakat.

As a side note: I’m glad so many readers enjoy the Tuyo world, because it doesn’t seem likely that I’m going to run out of ideas for stories set in this world any time soon.

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7 thoughts on “New Ideas Are continuing to Distract Me”

  1. Mary Beth, I thought it might be entertaining to follow this story from the very beginning — it’s rare a story occurs to me and I immediately post about it. I think I’m pretty likely to write it, and it’ll be fun for me to look back at this post and see how closely the final draft follows these very early thoughts!

  2. Important to know how clear the story has to be before you can be confident it has a complete story. It differs from writer to writer.

  3. Off topic, but I just noticed that The Shuddering City is available on Amazon. Apparently it was released back on Nov 22, and I missed it! Now I know how I’ll be entertaining myself this weekend :) It’s been so long since I read a new book by Sharon Shinn, I’m really looking forward to this.

  4. I was just talking to my son about music, and the skills of playing by ear and improvising, which I wish I had. This creative process you are showing us strikes me as similar to an experienced musician being able to improvise because they’ve been playing music so long they are comfortable with all the little bits and pieces that go into a song and are able to rearrange them at will into a new one. It makes sense that plots are the same kind of thing. (Also you’ve got all the world-building pieces you need to slot into place.)

    Can’t wait to read this story!

    Thanks, Melanie, for letting us know about new Sharon Shinn!

  5. this description is pushing ALL of my buttons, I am already sure I will go ABSOLUTELY WILD over this book!! “obviously he can’t let her hire the thug she almost hires” — I love him already.

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