Monday, February 20, 2012

Story Soup

My friend, Jamie Dement, has a really interesting blog post titled Compartmentalizing: the Way I Write. In it she talks about how she can work on multiple projects at once. It's really interesting. Learning how people process and think is one of my favorite things to do (I should have been a psychologist!). Anyway, as I was reading her post, I realized that I have a similar process. It's not the same, but the basic concept is the same. So here it goes:

The last time I did a count, I had about 3-4 story ideas floating in the back of my head.  This doesn't include the various short things (short stories and poetry) that I write for my Creative Writing class.  That also doesn't count blog ideas either.

Things just float around back there "percolating" (as I call it). In my comments on Jamie's blog, I referred to it as a soup. When an idea is ready for me to look at it just floats out and I take a look. If I get stuck, I toss it back until it's done "cooking". I can fairly easily jump between ideas as I have as they are in a "fluid state". It does take a second for my brain to reconfigure when an idea decides it is ready, but after that initial 'WTF?' moment, I'm off to the races.  Luckily, I haven't run into any bleed-over between ideas.

So, if you use the 'soup' idea, I guess you could say that all of these ideas are the meat, vegetables, and noodles floating around. If I want to check on them, I just spoon out some soup and take a sniff. If it isn't ready, I can just dump it back in the pot and move onto the next spoonful. If you use the 'coffee' metaphor...well, let's just not think of what those 'chunks' might's better that way.

I do, on occasion, get an intrusive Plot Bunny that will rear its ugly head and take a bite out of my jugular, but luckily they are easy to slay. I just have to take a moment and write what they are telling me. Then I can get back to my regularly scheduled obsession (WIP#1). I expect these to happen more often as I get totally consumed by writing, but at the moment it has only happened once in the last two weeks of writing every day.

Hopefully this explains how my brain works, at least a little bit, without the all the repulsive, icky stuff that will occasional float up.

For the record, I could, if I was in the mood, to work on multiple projects at the same time. However, I don't know if I want to go completely insane just yet, so I'll stick to the way I am.

'Till next time.


  1. Awww, Andrew! Thanks for the shout out! Glad I could help feed your habit! Hehe

    And yes, the human brain is very interesting. I love studying psychology. Actually, I'd love to study a lot of different topics! But that's another post :)

    I think I could have my doors and your soup going on at the same time in my brain. I have tons of ideas that plague me too. I write them down and let them simmer. But my main projects are the two novels. The shorts are distractions. Hehe

    Again, thanks for this and glad I could help out!

    1. Just saw this. I try to respond to all comments, but for some reason I didn't on this one. :D