I need to have a few ‘bones’ to hang my story on; a few events, like signposts on a highway. A happening or two I can work my way toward, travel past and on to the next signpost. Sometimes while I’m writing a good idea will pop up – or the dialogue pouring out of my fingertips (I’m a touch typist of old), the smart repartee between characters will introduce another character or create an event I hadn’t thought of, until then. At other times I will get an idea and to use it I have to write a whole chapter to justify one paragraph with the idea planted there, more for my own satisfaction than the reader’s amusement.
This happened in my latest novella “A Stellar Affair”, a futuristic romance. Stella is at the airport with her grandfather. They have ‘jumped’ to a corner in a service passage and as they exit the corridor to the main concourse Stella has to avoid the suitcases that are following their owners, or rather following an electronic signal coming from either the wrist or belt of their owners. Oblivious to other beings they trundle faithfully upright, close behind. The cases have safety locks to prevent theft, which If forced causes them to wail like a baby. People become emotionally attached to their suitcases, paste stickers, noses, eyelashes on them and give them names.
The idea of the suitcase ‘pets’ came to me watching the new upright suitcases, at the airport about a year ago; being pulled along by their owners, tucked beside them, held close. Suddenly I could picture them as faithful pets and the methodology of how and why was worked out in minutes. I had to write a whole chapter just to fit in an airport scene to use the suitcase idea. A fan commented the other day about this latest story. She loved the story, but wanted to talk about the suitcases. She thinks everyone should have one and in the future everyone might now that I’ve put the idea out there. She also thinks I should contact Samsonite – but I haven’t.
When this happens it’s just great to be a writer - the deliverer of ideas and secrets. Yesterday I had a fabulous title pop into my head. I wasn’t even thinking about writing. Actually, (and I know I shouldn’t use an adverb) I was cooking peanut brownies at the time. I had to rush off and write it down. Now I’ll have to write a story to fit the title. If I don’t hassle it I know my brain will come up with some ideas, probably in the dead of night and keep me awake. Meanwhile I’ll hug it tight and ponder on different plot lines I could use. It has to go through the ‘hatching’ process.
My latest Young Adult: 'A TASTE OF GOLD' ((by Deryn Pittar) has acquired, unplanned, two Taniwha. They definitely weren’t there to begin with, but have snuck in and now insist they are worthy of keeping. I’m inclined to agree with them. I didn’t know Taniwha could be so persuasive. Their size could have something to do with that. I keep looking over my shoulder to check they haven’t followed me home. Now I need to think of another adventure in which I can travel New Zealand and find other Taniwha. I’ve been to the local library and although there are a few legends involving these mythical creatures it appears to be an open field for me to play in.
My Taniwha are brave, loyal, intelligent and keepers of the land's treasures (gold, silver and diamonds). Guess who causes the earthquakes in this country?