Monday, February 28, 2011

Update - Brainstorming

Since last week was the Week From Heck, and this week is scheduled to be worse, I didn't keep word counts much. (This is the problem with just updating the widget in my sidebar, I can see the progress, but not remember the actual amount I did each day.)

I'll reset the end date on this segment of The Dare when I get a chance to breathe -- probably Saturday, but maybe Thursday.

I have had a very fruitful weekend in terms of brainstorming, though. I've got a stack of short story ideas. (Unfortunately, they are the darker colder kind of story -- a la Alfred Hitchcock Presents kinds of twists. I like to do these, but I don't think they represent my books. Lack of a warm character or something. This is why I haven't actually written any of them. They are lower priority.)

But the big thing is that I discovered the absolutely ideal MacGuffin strategy for Old Paint. An approach that takes the story to a much higher level. It doesn't change anything, but changes everything.

The problem is that it's a MacGuffin strategy, not the actual MacGuffin. I now have to recast the item to fit the strategy... and it's turning out harder than I think. As I mentioned in the MacGuffin post the other day, I want it to be simple, but it's got to meet three criteria to work. They are all simple criteria, but it has to work with all three, which makes it less simple.

So my goal through Wednesday night is more brainstorming. I will set a half hour at a time, and just start listing possibilities based on the various criteria. And then variations on the possibilities.

Usually how I would do something like this -- especially when I have a knotty problem -- is to set a very very high goal on ideas. Like 300 ideas by the end of the day on Wednesday. The thing about a high goal like that is that it forces you to think outside of the box. (Tomorrow, if I'm not so wiped out I can't think, I'll probably post about my Magic of 100 Method of Brainstorming.)

However, in this particular case I am very close to the solution, and I expect to be very tired, so I'm just going to go with a timer. If I do not find the solution by Wednesday night, I'll go for the Magic of 100 on Thursday.

In the meantime, I have Harsh Climate back listed for free again on Smashwords because it's so hard to coordinate the timing of prices with Barnes and Noble. This time we're keeping it that way for a month. It's already ranked in the top four thousand on B&N. Some of the other retailers have picked up the sale. We'll see if Amazon takes notice and puts it on sale too.

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