I never deliberately set out to think up a plot. When I do, it usually turns out to be a real stinker.
Now, I don't want to come off as one of those artsy-fartsy sensitive writers that's all about the muse and inspiration and crap. But, I've come to realize that my best plots come to me in two ways:
1. In my dreams, which means there is some really f*cked up sh*t going on in my head
2. In the middle of the grocery store, getting hit upside the head with the cosmic 2x4 of inspiration
When I have a plotting dream, it's a pretty exciting time in my head. The only thing missing is the popcorn. I've dreamt about Victorian cannibals, enslaved vampires, high school cold case murders (which is now a WIP), jealous sisters in Cromwellian England, and cities full of vampires doing real estate deals with the Devil (literally), and 1950's noir blondes raising golems.
Over the years, I've trained myself to start remembering these dreams as I begin to surface back to consciousness. The first thing I do is I get coffee. Surprise! Ain't nothin' happening until a moderate caffeine infusion takes place.
Then, I rush to my desk and either handwrite the dream in my notebook or type it up, depending on my mood. All of this goes into what I have come to call the Plot Bunny Nursery. What is the Plot Bunny Nursery? Ask my friend Kate H. She's the one who introduced me to the term.
Basically, the more you try and focus on one WIP, the more ideas f*ck around in your head and multiply like bunnies on Spanish Fly. So, you round up all the cute, alluring little rascals and put them in the nursery to mature. Eventually, one by one, they grow up to become rabbits with cute little cotton tails.
Okay, taking the whole metaphor too far. I realize that.
But, the high school cold case WIP has been kicking around in the nursery for about two years now. Over those two years, all kinds of bits and pieces from my life, reading, experience, other ideas, etc. have all adhered into a mosaic of a plot.
And, it's going swimmingly.
Now, the second type of inspiration for plots I get is pretty ridiculous as well.
I'll be going along, minding my own business, grocery shopping, picking up meds, doing laundry or whatever, and suddenly BAM!
My brain basically explodes.
An entire story pops up in my head, start-to-finish. The first two chapters are basically written, and it's up to me to get to a computer as fast as possible to take dictation from my brain. Then, I wander around in a useless haze for about three days, as the story plays out like a movie in my brain.
Oh sure, I can socialize and function around the house. For the most part. But, I'll definitely be more absent-minded and ditsy than usual. (The Peanut Gallery may refrain from comment, JW)
After a few days, the haze lifts, but then I enter the stage of literary possession. I have to write. I will go nuts if I don't. This story has to get done. Moonstruck was like that. I banged out 60,000 words in 30 days.
So, if you find me wandering around incoherent and with a faint, dazed smile on my face, please return me home and gently set me in front of a computer. Then check back in a few days.