So, I've been puttering around, trying to decide which story to write next...for about a month now. I have three ideas that I really like, but I just couldn't motivate myself to sit down and write any of them. So I just kept thinking about them, conceptualizing, plotting, etc., hoping something miraculous would happen. And it did!
Now, you have to understand something: the problem I was having was that, although the characters in each of my ideas were relatively well-formed and motivated, their adversaries were not. Unfortunately, I didn't realize this a month ago, or I could have saved myself much time and anguish. Even so, I did what I always do when I have a writing problem that I can't identify: I started reading. Invariably, if I delve into the kinds of books I love, somewhere along the way the answer comes to me. In this case, it was a book, a computer game, and a blog.
The book was Cornelia Funke's Reckless. I haven't finished it yet, but I already love it. Funny enough, it wasn't anything specific in the book that flipped the switch, but reading always gets my mind and imagination working; thus, the idea came while I was reading, but it wasn't inspired by the book. The game was Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn; this provided the seed for my breakthrough when I realized that one of the enemies I fought earlier was actually the sibling of what I assume to be the ultimate villain in the game. (Again, the events and story of the game aren't what helped me solve my problem, it was the concept of siblings. I'm not plagiarizing, I promise.)
The final piece I owe to fellow blogger Bekah Snow. She's writing a wonderful 6-post guide to querying and synopsizing. I read her first two posts (Goals and Motivations of characters) several weeks ago. While I was reading Reckless, Bekah's posts combined forces with the idea of siblings I'd noted in my game to figuratively punch me in the face (and before you jump to conclusions, no the villain is not the MC's sibling or any other family member).
Thanks to this epiphany, I've done more writing in the last two days than I had in the six weeks prior to that! And I feel GREAT! (thanks, Tony!) And if any of you have looked at my Projects page, I'm working on Dathan the Sorcerer.
Some times I love life way too much! So, have any of you ever had such an Ah-hah moment in your writing? Tell me about it!