Friday, June 3, 2011

When New Ideas Attack – Plus News and a Cool Image!

When New Ideas Attack - not to be confused with When Animals Attack.

First, some cool announcements!

India Drummond’s book, Blood Faerie, just came out – congratulations, India!

Mel is looking for beta readers! Check out her site at Writings, Musings, and Other Such Nonsense for details.

Elizabeth Mueller is hosting a MC Blogfest and Giveaway!

And don’t forget the It’s All Fun & Games Blogfest this coming Monday!

It’s Fantastic Friday Writers again, with my partners Elizabeth, Anastasia, J. D., Deirdre, M. Pax, and Jeffrey.

Today – how to keep up the flow of ideas without abandoning current project.

This is Captain Ninja Alex’s Everything but the Kitchen Sink method:

When those new ideas hit in the middle of a project, dump them in your manuscript!

You heard me! Toss it into the mixture and see if the idea works. Hey, you don’t want those new ideas distracting you from your current manuscript, do you? Put them to work in your project rather than let them take over your imagination and attention. If the idea fits, great! If not, set it aside.

Does it work? Hey, I did it with the sequel to my book. Every time something new struck me, I threw it in the story. I tossed everything but the kitchen sink at Byron. (Thus the name!) And since my critique partners actually liked the results, I’d have to say affirmative!

Anyone care to share a method that’s a little less hap hazardous? I feel this post needs a disclaimer – should not be taken in place of real writing tips.

Now before I dash off to the theater to see the new X-Men movie, let me leave you with a really cool image – “Fifty Baddies.” Can you name them all? (I got forty-six correct.) Visit creator Robert Ball’s Draw the Line for the full sized image and the answers…

83 comments:

Margo Benson said...

Actually, Alex, I think the throwing everything in attitude is excellent! I think people worry that if they pile in all their ideas, then there'll be none left for another story. I believe the well will always refill and, like you say, you can always extract them to use somewhere else. Very liberating!

Anne Gallagher said...

I got 4 but 3 of those were from kids movies. What does that say about me? Dont' answer that.

I usually write new ideas down in a folder until I can get to them. I deal with more character driven ms. so to throw a kitchen sink in one of my books would be kind of weird. Although I did give one of my characters a heart attack out of the blue. So that was pretty exciting.

Amy said...

Great post Alex and a very interesting approach!

I could only name about 15 of those baddies. I'm slacking in my knowledge of them, I used to be able to name more of them to. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Well thanks, Margo. Thought my way seemed too unconventional.

Anne, see? Wasn't that fun? And not answering...

Amy, some were tough!

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Great and interesting post Alex.
seems strange blogging from this side of the big pond.
Have a good day.
Yvonne.

Enid Wilson said...

That's new to me, throw them into the mixer. I normally put them in a wip folder and come back to them later on. But your solution may work too. I am writing a sci fi and a Regency right now. Perhaps put some regency stuff into the sci fi will be fun.

Chemical Fusion

The Old Silly said...

LOL, can't even BEGIN to name them all, but ... where's MY pic in there?! ;-)

Grammy said...

Hey, Cap'n!
I guess I am really not with it in terms of "baddies", I know Darth Vader, and I think one of them may be the Man in the Iron Mask? Did you see that movie with Leonardo DeCaprio? Great movie! Old story of course. I keep thinking I want to write a book, but that takes maybe more dedication than I have. Girls just want to have fun, ha ha ha.
Ruby

Jules said...

LOL, I love the advise and the disclaimer. That forth badie looks just like my neighbor. :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Talli Roland said...

Wow! I never thought of just chucking everything in. Interesting method!

Stephen Tremp said...

Gotta have the Stay Puff Marshmellow Man in there LOL! At twenty stories high, he can cause a lot of havoc. We painfully watched a bit of an old Godzilla Mothra Ghidora, and another bird like creature I forgot the name of. My kids were laughing their butts off comparing them to today's monsters.

iZombie said...

happy friday...
that meanies poster rocks the globe... i got a bunch.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

But glad you are blogging again, Yvonne!

Enid, give it a try!

Marvin, you're not that evil.

Hi Ruby! I do remember that movie with DeCaprio.

Jules, that's funny.

Stephen, and those movies were campy back in our day!

Knew you would, Jeremy.

Suze said...

Alex, I am so confused. I entered your fun and games blog hop for Monday and toggled back and forth between this page and the link entry page to see if I was supposed to wait until I'd posted the entry to link to the specific entry and not just my blog address and in doing so, took in all of these nutty avatars and just felt a fuse bust. :P

The only thing I can gather my wits to express at this point is that I love the band Rush, too.

(Wipes brow.) See you Monday.

TS Hendrik said...

I'll have to try that technique. I'm constantly distracted by new ideas.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

LOL! My story would be such a mess.

And I'll all ready for the blogfest.

Abby Minard said...

That's an interesting idea! I've never really thought of doing that. Usually my ideas are for a whole new book, so I just create a new word document and write as much as I can about my idea. Then I forget about it. It's on my computer waiting for me for when I'm ready to write a new book. I can't wait to see what you think about xmen. I've been SO excited to see it!!

BigMike said...

I got 27 out of 50

Hart Johnson said...

*giggles* I think you only can get away with that because you are solidly in love with a single genre. My ideas are for whole new characters, settings, and incompatible interactions.

When I have a new idea, I give over to it for about 10 minutes. I let myself brainstorm or write a scene so I don't lose the feel of it. I have a folder full of these things and I almost never get back, but if the idea continues to pester me, I will do the same again. If it grows more and more persistent, it goes on my 'will write it' list and gets its own folder than I add to periodically, but never more than just those snippets. I don't let myself start something new until I am done with a draft of the last (whether it is a writing or editing round)

Angela Felsted said...

If a time machine shows up in the middle of my YA real life contemporary, you'll know I've taken your advice.

Laura Eno said...

I like the kitchen sink method too but, like Hart, sometimes the genres don't go together.

Old Kitty said...

X-Men got some fab rave reviews here!! I thought - ooh prequels - not a fan but the reviews are changing my opinion!!! Oooh I hope you enjoy and tell us all about it too!!

As for naming the baddies... erm...
I got a grand total of 0. Ahem! Take care
x

Lydia K said...

I started messing up on the second line...

I guess I do the kitchen sink method, but I do weed out the ones that don't work pretty fast.

Carol Kilgore said...

I may well try your kitchen sink method on my next manuscript :)

Happy Weekend!

Sarah McCabe said...

I just work on new ideas on the side. I'm not the type of person that is mentally capable of focusing on just one thing ever. I need like 50 things going on in my head at any one point in time.

Ella said...

Damn, I only got 15 bad guys n' girls!
Some look familiar, but can't think of their names!

Love your idea; I think it is brilliant. Instead of letting those new ideas, nag at you, bait the hook and toss them in.

I'm excited for you; I want to go...
Hubby thinks movies are for when it gets humid n' hot. I should be seeing more movies;I'm in the humid south ;-D enJOY and report back Captain and give us your review~

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Suze, I'll make sure you're properly signed up!

Abby, I'll let you know!

Big Mike, not bad.

Hart, I may one day surprise you...

Angela, sounds like a best seller to me!

That's all right, Kitty.

Lydia, cool, it does work!

Ella, I shall go and report back my findings!

Donea Lee said...

Ok, completely ignore my blogfest comment earlier. Apparently, I'm running a week ahead of myself...

And, great idea!! I should go see X-Men today.

And love the images - some great old movies represented: Legend, Big Trouble in Little China, Gremlins, Ghostbusters ~ :) A few others I'll have to look up...

Donea Lee said...

Oh, and I know you've been tagged already, but I tagged you again today. :)

li said...

Hey! I recognize 2 for sure. I think one or two others are following me on Twitter as well. As for your method, truthfully I've been doing the reverse. My longer pieces get too muddled and confused and go in too many directions, so I've been carving them up into smaller flashes. Maybe I should reaarange those pieces into a different larger work again. (Kind of like stitching a corpse together out of dismembered limbs and things.) :)

The Golden Eagle said...

Doesn't sounds like a bad method to me! I might just try it, next time I get a new idea that's urging me to write.

I recognize about 4 of them.

Bossy Betty said...

You're just wild today, aren't you, Alex?

Katherines Corner said...

Fun post. I'm interested in your review of the new X men film. Big Hugs and happy Friday!

Dafeenah said...

Sounds like a great idea. I often am my own worst distraction. I don't even need any outside influences I am more than capable of distracting myself. Have fun at the movie and no spoilers!!

Raquel Byrnes said...

Wow...I suck at this. I only got 12. *hangs head in shame* Can't wait to read the review on X-Men.
Edge of Your Seat Romance

M Pax said...

I'll mix in a new idea if it fits. I love when that happens. Have a great time at the movie :D

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Sounds like a fantastic idea, to me!

*Finally* getting around to reading my TBR list a little! Am loving "Cassastar." :)

Lynda R Young said...

hahaha I love your idea about ideas. I'll have to give it a go some time. I usually just write the ideas down in a notebook to come back to later.

Biff Tanner said...

Very cool I picked out about 14.

damyantiwrites said...

Since I mostly write short stories, each new inspiration has to find its own story..sigh.

Thanks for the links, Alex, off to check them out!

Jeffrey Beesler said...

I'll have to wait until the X-Men movie comes out on netflix to see it, but it'll be well worth the wait!

The Words Crafter said...

That's actually been happening to me a lot lately. I've been writing the ideas down in a notebook. I admire that you can use them in your wips. My brain would lock up!

I got 24 of the baddies. Fun!

Ciara said...

That sounds like a great method, Alex. I swear the second guy from the left on the bottom row looks like he's from the old Flash Gordon movie. :)

Leovi said...

Wonderful and comprehensive post. I hope not to forget Monday's game. That's very interesting when you come new ideas when you're doing a project. In my case it is easier to channel, as almost always introduce in the current project and I think different variations. In writing is more complicated and need to be more patient. How hard it is to be a writer. Greetings.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Donea, it's all good!

Li, hey if it works in reverse, go for it! And two of those guys follow you on Twitter? Creepy.

Bety, it's Friday - I'm hanging loose!

Dafeenah, no spoilers will be difficult...

Elizabeth, YOU'RE reading my book??? I am so honored!

DAmy, then you don't have that problem!

Jeffrey, really need to get you out to the theater more often...

Ciara, if you mean the 1980 one with the Queen soundtrack, that is correct!

Karen Lange said...

Now that's a good idea. I love the kitchen sink thing - am going to have to give that a try, thanks! Thanks also for the links!

nutschell said...

what a great challenge. I only know a few of these baddies though.
nutschell
www.thewritingnut.com

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

Does low score win, cuz I only recognize 1 (the marshmallow guy). Actually, the others look like they may be relatives but we won't tell them I said so.
xoRobyn

RaShelle said...

Alex - Looking forward to your blogfest. Love the 50 badies. LOL. Awesome. =D

Mary Aalgaard said...

Great idea throwing new ideas into current work. I'll try it. I only know a handful of the baddies.

Rhonda @Laugh Quotes said...

LOL-Clearly I don't know my baddies.

Dorothy Evans said...

You mean just chuck it in and see what happens? Give up control? Abandon the plan? Trust to instinct? I think I'm having a panic attack!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Robyn, you have one scary family then!

Dorothy, as I said, not meant to take the place of real writing advice!

Helen Ginger said...

50 baddies? Some of them look like rock stars.

I usually keep an ideas folder on my computer. I throw ideas there. Reading through them helps when I'm ready to start something new.

Monti said...

Sounds like quite an interesting way to use new ideas. Maybe I'll try it today in the jungle with my characters!

Monti
NotesAlongTheWay

Rosalind Adam said...

I bet you bake your cakes that way as well. I'm one of those 'measure it out carefully' cooks and the same goes for my writing. Maybe I ought to loosen up a bit... I've signed up for your Monday blogfest by the way so see you then for fun and games!

Holly Ruggiero said...

I like it - just throw it all in!

Chuck said...

Thanks Alex...you distracted me from my methodical blog reading for over 30 minutes on the Fifty Baddies thing...I just couldn't let it go! I think I only 20 or so before I had to go check out the site.


Thanks Again...

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Helen, I think one is a bad rock star...

Monti, let me know how it turns out!

Rosalind, I'm actually a very careful measurer! Glad you've joined the blogfest.

Chuck, that's my job man! And hate to say it, but I had most of them in five minutes...

Kittie Howard said...

Hadn't thought about throwing in the kitchen sink, but why not? Hope you enjoyed X-Men.

Powdered Toast Man said...

I just joined the blogfest. I know I'm a little late but i've been locked in the bathroom for a month.

I didn't do that well on guessing the baddies.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Kittie, I enjoyed it!

PTM, there's worse places to be trapped.

alexia said...

Seeing X Men tomorrow!

As for new ideas, I sometimes throw them in my current WIP, or otherwise I'll type up a brief outline of whatever story pops into my head so I don't forget it. But I do cheat sometimes and write new stuff if its really pounding incessantly in my head. I'm actually working on two stories right now.

Amity said...

Yayyy...Alex...whatta images...could not relate at all...ha ha

anyways...happy viewing as you're off to a wide screen to see X-men...:)

Enjoy! See you tomorrow with your exciting blog fest!

amity

Walter Knight said...

When I get an idea, sometimes I write a short story. I may use it later, or not.

Some short story may go at the end of books as a bonus to readers.

Susan Fields said...

I could only name about two baddies - cool picture though!

I do the same thing with throwing new ideas into the pot, as long as it's early enough in the game and won't require rewriting the whole ms! But I've read several places that the best stories come from mixing different ideas together, so I think this is actually excellent advice.

I'm looking forward to the blogfest on Monday!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Alexia, I can't work on two things at once. I confuse myself!

Amity, glad you're part of the blogfest!

Susan, really? It's not as crazy as it sounds?

Milo James Fowler said...

I'm stumped on a few of those evil characters, dang it.

I keep a file for "story ideas" -- one-line kernels for stories I'll write in the future. That way they don't interfere with my current WiP.

Summer Ross said...

I didn't know hardly any of those- thanks for the reminder comment on my blog about the blogfest- My post is ready and waiting.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Milo, since your focus is short stories, dumping new ideas into the mix is probably not a good idea.

Summer, great! That's why I visited all participants yesterday.

Cheeseboy said...

That image is awesome. YES for the new X-Men!

Tanya Reimer said...

Oh I love throwing it all in! Even better, take out the one thing they were sure about. Why not?

I only got 8 of the baddies.

L'Aussie said...

I like the throwing everything in method. Works for me and demands creativity. Now as for those baddies, I'm not even thinking about knowing someone who knows that many! Is there an image of goodies somewhere?

Denise<3

Kelly Dexter said...

That's an awesome picture! I love that they included Darkness from Legend.

Karen Peterson said...

When I get those ideas while I'm working on a different project, I jot them down in my writing journal. Then I don't worry about forgetting them, plus I get the idea written down so that it usually leaves me alone for awhile.

Bryce Daniels said...

Wow. For a minute there, I thought you had somehow gained access to my family tree.

Seriously, though, I am in real trouble. I could only name about seven or eight of 'em.

Twas fun trying! See ya around tomorrow.

Cheryl said...

Hey Alex I'm posted for the blog fest - we Aussies are way ahead of the rest of the wrold... :-)

Donna Hole said...

I have 3 out of 5 kid that could name most of those, I'm sure. Not me, without their collaborative help. A cool challenge though.

As for those new ideas; I write on them as long as they last, give them a title, and then ignore them until they tell me where they fit. Rarely in the current work.

I've gotten two acceptances off short storines from new ideas, and my next one looks pretty good for publication. A new idea rarely works into a current WiP, but I never ignore them

I have a lot of short, unfinished ideas that have been inspired by promts. Dang, maybe I shoud try to integrate them into the current work.

......dhole

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Denise, would you like to identify candy instead?

Bryce, I'm not coming to your family gatherings!

Donna, that's great!!!

reinasobin said...

I figured out 23 of the baddies, although I have to say that #49(Harry Powell)reminds me more of the creepy preacher from Poltergeist II.

Maurice Mitchell said...

I got 32 alright! I watch too many movies...

Patricia Stoltey said...

Good grief. I think I can only name three. I need to get out more. :)

Elizabeth Mueller said...

Doh! I forgot all about this post. Me so bad... :(


♥.•*¨Elizabeth¨*•.♥
Can Alex save Winter from the darkness that hunts her?
YA Paranormal Romance, Darkspell coming fall of 2011!