Padded Rooms and Flaming Weapons

Seems like a good combination, yes? I thought so. Catchy…and yes, somewhat relevant.

I think I said this before, but someone wise said to me not long ago that to be a writer, you have to be a little bit insane. That is a very true statement. Being a writer is somewhat like being schizophrenic… you always have voices in your head, there are always people talking to you who aren’t really there, and you never know what thoughts are yours and what belongs to someone else. I don’t say it to be funny… I say it because it’s true. There are days when I really don’t know who’s in control in my mind.

My point… the voices tend to come out of nowhere, and they like to attack when you least expect it. There was an episode of The Big Bang Theory that outlines the concept well.  Sheldon got stuck on something, and after multiple failed experiments decided that the best way to solve the problem would be to occupy himself with mundane tasks which would free up the more detailed portions of his mind (I’m not a theoretical physicist or a genius by any measure, so I can’t tell you the exact wording, but you get my point) to concentrate on the issue.

That really does work.

Because of it and for the first time in a very long time, I’m really, truly excited about a project. This one is very near and dear to my heart and with any luck I’ll be able to find a home for it very soon. I know, I know… I need to stop gushing and talk about it.

Ten years ago I started writing a story. We’re talking high fantasy with royalty and warriors and wizards and magic and all manner of fantasy goodies. At the time I thought I was brilliant. I had all of these characters and I knew exactly who they were and how they were going to accomplish their goals and…and… no.


The more I wrote, the more I realized that it was too cliche, that the characters were flat, and that everything was far too simple. I grew very discouraged. At one point I even threw away an entire manuscript.  Not really…I kept a backup copy. But I did delete one file and throw away what was printed out.

For years this thing has haunted me. I’ve tried over and over to revamp it and make it work. And for years, it sat there.

Then all of a sudden, I found myself in the kitchen working at my mundane task of chopping salad vegetables and BAM… inspiration strikes.

Just like that I know how to repair ten years of damage. I know how to strengthen my characters and stabilize my plot, all while continuing to use all of the kitschy little fantasy cliches that I love so much, including the flaming sword. I sat down and started making notes. And yesterday, I finished an outline. Eighteen chapters plus prologue and epilogue. Four pages of outline. I’m estimating 90,000 words.

Now I just need a title.


One thought on “Padded Rooms and Flaming Weapons

  1. Agatha Christie plotted her novels while she washed the dishes.

    I work on mine during bike rides and walks. Pen and notepad mandatory.

    I have worked on my novels while driving, but generally speaking that’s dangerous.

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