IMG_4539 On a good day, my brain looks like this. Which means, hardly ever.

My brain is a messy place. It’s organized, but messy. This means that everything ends up where it’s supposed to….eventually. But not always at a time, or in quite the way, that I would like.

This also applies to my writing process. While I now have a much more methodical way of planning and plotting new book ideas (thank you, Scrivener — and my 10th grade history teacher who drilled into us the proper way to outline a chapter), I still have those moments where ideas hit me out of the blue. Literally. And they are so weirdly sensical, so OMG-why-didn’t-I-do-this-before, that I hardly know what to do with them. I see the end result and the grueling journey in one snapshot and it almost paralyzes me.

Today was one of those days.

I need to stew on this a bit more, but suffice to say I’ve hit what one of my writer friends calls a “trigger town” — where a writer spends hours and hours (in my case, 1.5 entire manuscripts, or roughly 150,000 words) on an idea, only to realize that’s not the story that needs to be told. It’s related to the Real Story, but not the Real Story itself.

In my case, I’ve got (I think) the right characters, but the setting/time/genre are all wrong. And it both intimidates me and excites me.

I’ll do a post on Trigger Towns later; but I’m also interested to know whether any of my readers have encountered the same thing. Have you ever spent tons of verbiage on a book idea, only to realize you were off in the weeds? What did you do about it? Start afresh? Or scrap the idea altogether?

Inquiring minds want to know…