Bouncing Baby Boxers?
Yesterday, I was thrilled and relieved to finish the draft of a novel that's been punching my lights out lately. The work is far from over, as editing begins, but I'm already conjuring some ideas for a new single title romantic suspense proposal.
Normally, at the idea stage, I try to keep my mouth shut. Not because I'm paranoid someone with steal my brilliant thought. (No one else *can* write your book, not even if you handed out free copies of your synopsis.) Mostly, I keep quiet because it's possible to get bored with the idea before it's committed to paper if you yap about it too much. Plus, I hate listening to people gas on about the brilliance of books they haven't yet written (and most likely won't). You know, the people who, on discovering you're a novelist, feel compelled to tell you they're going to write their book when they have time, only they'll be *really* successful at it. They'd be doing it right now, but they're busy (INSERT-LITANY-OF-EXCUSES).
But there is a time and place for everything, including bouncing unripe ideas around in a brainstorming session with a trusted pal -- or better yet, a trusted pal who's also a seasoned pro. Especially when you're really not certain whether the project's viable. Joni calls this "dating the idea" with an eye toward commitment. She and I have had a lot of "let me bounce this crazy idea I have off you and see what you think" sessions, and I had such a discussion yesterday with friend and fellow romantic suspense author Karen Young.
"Is this fertile ground (another Joni-ism; I'm full of 'em today) or a train wreck?" I asked her. We both agreed the idea was extremely high-concept but potentially risky, but sure enough, Karen starting tossing out her thoughts (good ones) on how to make it work, I piggy-backed off those ideas and bounced back more, and before I knew it, I'd decided to go ahead and write up this proposal, one that had so fired my imagination, I barely slept last night.
So how about the rest of you? Do you bounce your ideas off a friend, critique partner, your agent or an editor? Or do you nurture them in isolation until they're well grown enough to come out and play?
And enjoy this Boxer on a trampoline video. It's hilarious!