This is a phenomenon that has only happened twice in my life now, but MAN do I love it when it does. Basically, what happens is that I’ve been kicking a few ideas around for a while, with one that’s really been drawing my attention more than the others. Still, whenever I try to write it, I can’t seem to get words down, or at least not many. I tend to not even make it past the first page. Then, one day, I suddenly realize that combining a few of these less-developed ideas with my big idea is exactly what I need to make this story work. And then BLAMO! I’ve finally got something I can work with!
In this instance, part of my inspiration came from a book I had worked on a little when I was a lot younger (maybe fifth or sixth grade). It was about these two twins, though nothing really happened during the story, which was common for the things I wrote back then. I was still learning about story structure at that point. But the relationship between the twins–a brother and a sister–has been something I’ve wanted to explore ever since I put that project aside. It eventually morphed into a short story idea that never really went anywhere, either, and I thought I would have to completely abandon it. That is, until one of my newest story ideas came along.
The main character in my current WIP (not related to The Caspian Chronicles, for any of you who are familiar with my blog and were curious) was originally an only child, for no reason other than the fact that I’m an only child and that tends to be my default. However, during a writing exercise for one of my workshop classes, I was asked to write a scene from the point of view of an unexpected character. Suddenly, his sister was born. In the original concept, she was about two years younger than him, and wasn’t going to play much of a role. As I became more and more frustrated with the stilted progress of my story, though, and I contemplated putting it aside altogether, an idea hit me. What if this was the twin story I’d been looking for all this time? What if the story wasn’t just about my original MC, and it wasn’t just about the sister (like it had been in previous concepts), but instead it was about both of them? A dual perspective novel, focusing on both of their stories told from both of their POVs!
The idea hit me like a sack of bricks, and now I’m in love and so excited to get started on this project. I even signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo in hopes that I can kick out a first draft in a month to get it out of my system, since Book 2 of The Caspian Chronicles is still my main priority right now. We’ll see how it goes, but at the moment I’m still riding the high of mashing my two great ideas into one glorious concept. I really, really hope it works out in the long run, because both of these stories are ones that I’m passionate about telling.
So, have you guys ever had this happen to you? Have you mashed together two story ideas, or maybe even two character concepts? Let me know!