I've spent the past couple days in a DayQuil haze, my head floating away from my body as I ride out a cold that manifested in my sleep Sunday night. The most unfortunate part about being sick is that it's keeping me from my final edit of Bloodline: Legacy, which is less than 30 pages from completion. Writing in an altered state of consciousness can be quite interesting. However, attempting to polish work in such a state is never a good idea, as more mistakes may be made than mended.
Although I'm plugging away at Bloodline to get the third book in the hands of my readers, NaNoWriMo is ever on my mind. I've been writing a novel during the month of November for so many years that it's now a given that I will write a novel in November. This is my break from the year to do what I love, to set aside my life, regardless of what's going on, and write.
But of course, to write a novel, one must have an idea. People always get so hung up on the idea—like if this magical notion strikes you, you'll write gold. Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way. Storytelling is a craft, it is work, and even a genius idea isn't always enough to get you to the end. But still, an idea is necessary.
I've been haunted the past few weeks by one word: Polite. I strive to be a polite person, showing grace and courtesy in idealized hope that it will be reciprocated. This requires a filter between my thoughts and my tongue, and quite often, I don't speak what I'm thinking. But what of my actual thoughts? How do they differ from the words that cross my lips? This much I can tell you: dramatically.
Perhaps a book with this theme, of the narrator's thoughts varying from her speech, is not original. Surely, someone's done it before. Surely, everyone's done it before. But no one has written it like I, Michelle Bredeson, will write it. Just as no one will write a book like you, [insert name here], will write it. It is my perspective, my background, the number of years I've lived on this earth, and how I view the world that all shape how I specifically will write a book. The same applies to you. Don't worry about the idea. Don't worry if it's been done before—because no one can tell a story quite like you will tell a story.
On that note, I think it's time for another dose of DayQuil.