Usually when working on a project I am pretty single-minded about getting it done. There are always a number of different book ideas in the back of my mind, but I’m never sure which one will be next. By the time I get done with the current book, my subconscious has sorted everything out and I know what my next book will be. So things are usually touch and go during one book about what will be next because I actually don’t know myself.

Now something interesting has happened, and it has to do with my cluster theory of creativity. During the course of time, I get notions about things that would make something interesting to write about. For example, at one point I knew I wanted to do a book about a street gang because the dynamic of a gang substituting for a family fascinated me. I also wanted to do a book set at an advertising agency because I wanted to do something that was a study of creativity. But it wasn’t until those two notions got stuck together in my head that it became an idea, the one for the Pembroke Hall novels.

Call it creative math. Two notions equal one idea.

I spent most of today dealing with two notions that recently came together as an idea. I had pushed them back in my mind because they weren’t supposed to show up as my next book until And/News was almost done. But as usually happens, when I suppress an idea, it stays away for a time, but if it’s a good one, it comes back. And this time it came back with a friend.

This new idea had nothing to do with the plot or characters. It had to do with the timing of when I should write the book. This idea has sense of urgency to it, saying I should write this book now. For that reason I’m going to call this project Deadline for blog reference purposes.

As if to prove a point, great huge pieces of the project came flooding in along with the urgency of writing the book soon, . Now I’m debating whether I should postpone finishing And/News to write Deadline… or finish And/News first to let Deadline percolate a little bit more.

Another odd thing aboutDeadline… Usually when I get ready to start a book, I have these things;

the plot

the title

the opening scene

the climax and ending scene

I have no idea what is in the middle. That is what writing the book is all about: discovering that vast, uncharted land.

With Deadline, however, things are different. I know the plot, but the opening scene is just a vague idea at this point. I know what the middle is, but I don’t have an ending. And the thing doesn’t have a title (and there is no way that it will stay as Deadline).

It’s an interesting thing to have happen. Especially since Deadline will be like no other book I have written before (and it’s likely that there won’t be anything like it again).

So count this day, I guess, as creative confusion. A book came to me insisting on attention when it wasn’t its time. What will I do about it? I don’t know. Stay tuned as the soap opera progresses…


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