Monday, July 20, 2015

Abstract Thoughts: Mental Notes

Writings of the Muse

Renee tries to have at least two projects in process at a time, so she can switch back and forth between phases to give each time to rest without down time. I handle the plotting and writing of one and then the other, and then the Inner Editor takes them over before handing them off to the Idea Salesman. Once he's done, we start all over again with the next pair.

It's a good system. It looks a little confusing from the outside sometimes. But it works for us.

While the Inner Editor and the Idea Salesman are busy with their current projects, my job is to start working up ideas for the next ones. I sift through dozens of different thought combinations and test notions before I come up with one that's good enough to present to Renee. And sometimes it takes dozens of those before she picks one.

And even then, nothing is guaranteed. Renee has selected eight of my projects this year and only three of them have made it to the writing phase. Well, four of them now with "Dates". And we almost lost that one because of me and my stupid mental notes.

I brought an idea to Renee and she liked it. We gave it the working title "Dates" and plugged it into all of the Project Manager's spiffy spreadsheets. And I made a mental note of everything. The characters. The plot. The subplot. Everything.

Making mental notes sounds like the most logical course of action for a voice living inside Renee's head. I mean, really, what other kind of notes am I going to make?

It's not a logical course of action. It's the most illogical course of action ever. I'm an ideas expert and I really should know a horrible idea when I see one, but this one slipped right past me.

Time went by; the Inner Editor was hard at work on "Fishwife" and then "Blood" at the time. When it finally did come time for Renee to work on "Dates". . . neither of us had the slighted clue what it was supposed to be about.

Hey! It's not my fault! There's a lot of chaos swirling around up here and mental notes have a tendency to vanish.

We knew was that it was going to be called "Dates" and it was a short contemporary romance. (The Project Manager wrote those bits down as actual notes.) But that was is. The rest of it was all in the mental notes, and those had vanished into the ether.

Thankfully, we remembered eventually.

Or possibly we came up with something else that's just as brilliant and felt familiar enough that we just think we remembered it.

Either way, we have our fourth short story for the year in process.

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