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Brainstorming song of the day: “Hold On”- En Vogue
Our aces over at YA Highway have done it again with a thought-provoking Road Trip Wednesday question. They want to know: when do you know when a project is going to work, and when it’s not?
Well, let us start with the when it’s not, because that is so much more fun! A couple of years ago, we read the Twilight series, and the Sookie Stackhouse series and we thought- HEY! We can do that! So, we concocted an idea about African American (AA) vampires that live amongst humans on reservations (a la Native Americans). Our protagonist was a badass AA chick who was going to fall in love with an AA man who was *gasp* human. Of course, drama would ensue because, OF COURSE, vampires and humans are forbidden to be together.
DISCLAIMER- THIS WAS WHAT WE GOT IN GOOGLE FOR *AFRICAN AMERICAN VAMPIRES*- HOWEVER, OUR IDEA WAS NOTHING LIKE BLADE 🙂
How did we know it wasn’t going to work?
- It was too forced.
- We weren’t in love with the idea to begin with.
- We didn’t really flesh out all the details- basically we were just jumping on the bandwagon.
- If you don’t find yourself thinking about your characters and what they would do/think/say in any given situation- then the project is probably not going to work.
- If you aren’t completely fall on your face, head over heels, slap your mamma in love with your initial idea- then it ain’t gonna work!
** But don’t fret-we have a new KILLER idea for a collaboration novel. Boo yah!**
So, how do you know your project is going to work?
- When you can’t wait to brainstorm what might happen to your characters next (whether it be through an outline like Pam did for her completed manuscript Wants, or whether it be through scribbled notes on an index card, in a notebook, and on your laptop somewhere like Quita did for her completed manuscript Chasing Manson).
- When you can watch TV/listen to the radio/watch a movie and compare things that happen to what happens in your novel.
- When you find yourself thinking, “that’s something (insert character name’s here) would say!”
- When you want to flesh out your idea- i.e. bounce it off of others and see what they think.
- When you can figure out the genre that your novel belongs in
- When you can write a query letter that kicks ass!
- And finally, when you want to…well…slap your mamma because you think your idea is that unique, interesting, and inventive.