I swear you guys, I’m going to start calling this “The Year of the Bolognese.”
Ever since I wrote about my culinary adventure/life lesson, the truth and functionality of it has been becoming more and more stunningly clear. Take the past few days, for example. I’ve had a story idea bumping around in my head for a couple of weeks, with the first scene and the rudiments of the main characters already in place, but the theme just wasn’t wanting to show up. I decided to let it stew for a while, and try not to obsess over getting anything figured out.
It worked again, people.
On Tuesday night, completely randomly, I found myself with the phrase “this orphan feeling” chasing itself around one of the tracks of my brain. I have no idea where it came from. Once I started paying attention to it, I realized that it was attempting to be iambic pentameter, so I started forming it into a sonnet.* (Side note: This is not as impressive as it sounds. When you know the formula, sonnets practically write themselves. All you need is a good rhyming dictionary.) About halfway through the second quatrain, I stopped and said to myself, “What the heck? Where did this even come from? It’s not about me…”
After staring blankly out the window for a minute or two, I realized that one of my new MCs was hovering in the background, waiting for me to notice him. “Oh, hi there. This sonnet is you, isn’t it?”
“Wanna tell me a bit more about yourself?”
Just keep writing it.
“Okay… There, I’ve gotten the quatrains all finished. Now what do I do about the couplet?”
Um… I don’t really want to tell you that yet.
“Alrighty then, you little turkey. Don’t tell me.”**
I decided to let the couplet wait until I have more of the story figured out. Still puzzled by how this had come to me, I started thinking back over the things I already knew about the story, and I eventually realized that the struggle this sonnet had given him was the perfect flipside of the one my other MC was working through. How wonderful.
Anyway, I don’t really know what usefulness anybody out there might find in all of this… except to once again be reminded that letting things stew is important, as well as giving yourself permission to work on unrelated projects. They just might link up somewhere.
And maybe write a sonnet or two.
*I might end up sharing the sonnet next week, although I haven’t yet made up my mind. Watch this space, I guess.
**No, I don’t actually have conversations like this with my characters.