I just spent an hour or so on the grass by the public swimming pool, looking up into the sky, thinking about stories.
I meant to go swimming, but I got so cross when my ladyshave broke after one leg that I didn't check my swim bag before I left, and so didn't realise that I'd left my swimsuit behind.
Never mind... when I got back I had a list of characters for the novel I want to write in NaNoWRiMo November. I will take up a novel I started planning in college but then dropped because it seemed jinxed. First I based one character on a friend and then killed her dramatically, which was meant to be a compliment - don't we all want to have a great death scene without actually dying, like Tom Sawyer, or all these film directors getting themselves shot in slow motion as extras in their own films? - But she had a really awful time after that, and so in retrospect it felt quite wrong.
Then I read two best-selling books that used some of the same ideas I had lined up, and they were unusual ideas (I thought at the time). One was using the 1977 netting of a 'sea monster' to mirror the state of mind of a troubled child watching the news at the time (just to read it done better in Sonya Hartnett's, "What the Birds See"). The other was the discovery of a clockwork man in a hidden room of a public building (probably done several times since, what with steampunk arriving). - I was so cheesed off with these two things appearing in other people's books that I put the whole thing in storage, wrapped in string and tape.
Only recently I suddenly realised that any story that combines these two elements most likely wasn't very good. A sea monster AND a clockwork man? What was I thinking????!?
So I stripped out all the weird fantasy elements, and checked what actually remained, and realised what the story was actually about - just one family and what secretly troubles them. Then I auditioned the fantasy elements and let exactly two back in, the ones that actually had anything to do with the story.
Anyway, I am rather looking forward to actually writing the thing, but I won't start before November.
Anyone else going to write a novel in NaNoWRiMo, by the way? Would like some more writing buddies :)