April 6th, 2013
If you climb Mt Wellington (aka Kunanyi) which is the mountain that lies behind the city of Hobart in Southern Tasmania, you will sometimes see tiny spiderlings that spin a long thread then throw themselves onto the wind, with no idea where they will end up. At the moment I feel very like one of those spiderlings. 🙂
For the last few weeks I’ve been working on the plot of Children of the Claw. I’ve been cutting out interesting pictures and sticking them in my Claw notebook, and jotting down ideas and possible scenes, and what might happen when.
I like to have a good strong plot before I start the actual writing, as a sort of safety net. That plot will often change as I go along, but I like knowing it’s there. So I’d worked out various things about the main characters and their parents, and what was going to happen to them. And then, a couple of nights ago, I woke up in the middle of the night with a strange sentence in my head. Here it is:
‘It was New Year’s Eve, and the last fortune-telling duck was dead.’
Well! I have no idea where that came from, but in the middle of the night I thought it was brilliant. 🙂 So I told myself to remember it, then went back to sleep. Of course, in the cold morning light it didn’t look quite so wonderful, but I wrote it down, thinking that I’d probably use it in some future book, and forgot about it.
Or rather, I tried to forget about it. But it kept creeping back into my mind, all day, until in the end I stopped what I was doing, and asked myself if perhaps this odd sentence had something to do with The Claw. And the answer was YES!
So I spun a long thread and threw myself to the mercy of the winds of imagination, with no idea where I would end up. But as sometimes happens, those winds took me to a VERY interesting place. As a result, the whole first part of the plot has changed dramatically. What’s more, that dead fortune-telling duck has brought the *zing* factor to the story, which I need if I’m to fall in love with it. And really, writing a book is such a long process that you need to be in love with it to get it finished.
So there we are. I’m not going to give you any more details, but I will tell you that I am now officially in love with Children of the Claw! I still haven’t got the whole plot worked out, but I’m getting there. And this is going to be a really enjoyable book, both to write and to read. Phew!
Meanwhile I’m reading Wildwood by Colin Meloy. It reminds me a bit of Narnia, but different, and it’s very good so far.
Have any of you had midnight inspirations? Tell us about them if you have. Aren’t they strange?