Usually, as I'm finishing the last half of one book, the next idea starts bugging me. For the first time I can remember, that didn't happen. I turned in the last Desperation book almost a month ago. So where are all the ideas that bounce around, already taking space in my head? Where's the heart of the next story idea? The characters for the next story?
The answer to that has been "nowhere."
I have a basis: A Texas ghost town. I have the names of three heroes and three heroines. Oh, and babies. There must be babies. But I don't know who these characters are, much less hunting for photos of what "stars" might represent them in my head. Smack! This doesn't happen. I was at a loss. I was in a panic.
One evening, Patricia Davids and I were doing some brainstorming on her WIP. (Go, Pat!) When we finished with that, I threw out my basic idea for the ghost town series. She asked me questions I had no answers for. None. Nada. Zilch. It took a few weeks, but I finally came up with some answers, although they weren't very solid. A week ago, with Pat and Theresa and Melissa, things began to come together. Four heads are definitely better than one! (May blessings rain upon you, P, T, & M!)
But one of the elements I chose needed some research, so last night I decided to do a little of that. One thing led to another, and... Do you have any idea how many real ghost towns there are in Texas? Oh, my stars and garters! And the stories behind those towns--the history of them--are sometimes fascinating.
Now that I've found the answer to that element I needed and even more, plus a suitcase full of photos of Texas Hill Country, the story is beginning to form. Ideas for a scene or two are slowly starting to sneak and twist through my mind. Short snippets of conversations between characters, along with a little introspection (character thoughts) are whispering. Those characters are starting to take shape and will hopefully come to life soon on the written page.
Is it what I'd imagined originally? Not quite, but what's replaced those first pitiful ideas are much better and finally taking form. At least I hope so, especially on the 'better' part of it.
So that blank page above? It's full of scribbles and notes now. It's starting to come together. It won't be long before I'm hunting for photos, not of ghost towns and underground caves, but hunky cowboys and their feminine equals.
Wish me luck!