Brainstorming Blues

No, I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth, even though it feels like it!  I have just one chapter to go and I think — I think — I’ll be finished with these revisions.  I am so ready to put this story to rest.  I just want to not think about it for a week or two.  That’s all.  Just a few days without it in my head! I’d feel much more sane, I’m sure, if I could just have those few days.

There’s only been one other book on which I had such massive revisions, and you know what?  In both cases, the problem came about because I tried to write someone else’s vision for the story. In both cases, an editor saw something I didn’t, and I tried to find their vision and write the story they saw. In both cases, the result has been just way more work than the story is worth. (Well, maybe that’s not entirely true. I reserve the right to say this story was worth all the work when I regain a little judgment.)

Church and StormI think there must be other authors who are able to incorporate their editors’ suggestions with more success than I can. There must be. I, on the other hand, have trouble working with any other writers too closely on any book of mine because I have a really hard time incorporating anybody else’s suggestions into my work. It’s not that I’m stubborn or that I think my ideas are better than anyone else’s. I love brainstorming with other writers, and could do it all day long if somebody would let me. I just can’t ever really bring home what they suggest and weave it into my books. I have to feel it on some deep inner level or I can’t write it–and that means that 99% of what people suggest during brainstorming sessions, even the good stuff, is stuff I can’t use.

Wonder why that is.

It’s not like I can never brainstorm. The brainstorming I did with Kay (David), Linda (Style), Roz (Denny Fox), Anna (Adams), and Ken (Casper) on the Women In Blue series went very well and I never felt that hands-around-my-neck feeling I get when I’m trying to write someone else’s suggestions.

Arm WrestlingMaybe that’s because we brainstormed very loosely on the overriding story and not at all on each other’s individual stories.Story ideas are fine, but when the brainstorming slips over into the characters, that’s when the choke-hold takes hold. And the trouble is, I don’t know where “story” stops and “character” begins. It’s all too interrelated.


I don’t know what the problem is, I just hope I’ve learned my lesson and I never, ever, ever do it again!  Whatever it was!


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