Home    Workshops    Members Only    Contests    Join    Contact us                       RWA Chapter

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Synchronicity

Please welcome guest blogger Lynda K. Scott

synchronicity (sɪnkre’nɪsɪtɪ) — n an apparently meaningful coincidence in time of two or more similar or identical events that are causally unrelated

I’ve been doing a substantial amount of blogging and couldn’t think of a new subject that I could write about without boring myself as well as the reader. As I pounded my head against my desk top, my alien kitten, Wookie, prowled up to me and asked, ‘Is problem?’

You might think it’s unusual to have an alien kitten but I assure you, in my household, all the kittens are alien. It’s the eyes, you see -- Oh, you were more interested in her ability to speak? She absolutely speaks, something that surprised me when she adopted me. Sometimes she makes more sense than anyone else I know.

I often discuss plot ideas with her. In fact, in the past month, we’d just had a really great plot idea. My research was just falling into place, turning points seemed to be telegraphed directly into my mind. Even the hero and heroine walked right up to me, insisting they were good as they were and I should get busy writing their story.

I haven’t been this enthused by an idea in a long while. It hadn’t been done before to my knowledge so it would be fresh and unique.

And done by about twenty other authors.

At least, that’s what it looks like when I see listings for new books, movies and television shows. It’s frustrating. It makes you want to pound your head into the desk again. That’s when Wookie says Meeoowwrrr? Which means ‘Is new game? Want to play too.’

I explain my dilemma while trying to keep her from batting my head around. After bouncing into my lap and arching her back in a demand for petting, Wookie asked a series of important questions.

‘Is romance?’ No, not that I can tell. They might have some romantic elements though.

‘Is set in same place as ours?’ Uh, no, I don’t think so. (I thought she was pretty gracious when she included me in the ownership of the idea.)

‘Is alien kittens in story?’ No, but ours don’t have alien kittens either. As far as I can tell though, theirs have no aliens at all while ours does.

‘Is not same then. Go write our story.’ She threw her tail into the air as she prepared to go downstairs to find her afternoon sunbeam. ‘Needs alien kitten.’

While Wookie is understandably perturbed that there are no alien kittens, her line of questioning cleared my mind. Those other stories might be very similar in basic idea but they’re not the same as mine, er, ours.

Why would that be though? Simple. Because we didn’t write those other storys.

A story idea is created not just by what’s happening or who the characters are but by who the author is and what she/he has done. We authors bring a lot to the table, things that went into the making of us from the time we were born. Hurts, both physical and emotional, loves, guilts, failures, successes, who our family is, things we’re interested in, places we’ve been or wanted to go…all of that goes into the making of us and of our story ideas. And it goes into the creation of our characters and the subtleties of our plots.

Each one of us can write a story about dragon heroes and it will be different.

Each one of us can write a story about werewolf heroes and it will be different.

Each one of us can write a story about handsome aliens who fall in love with Earth damsels and it will be different.

Basic story ideas seem to be spawned by some sort of spontaneous synchronicity. They float through the ether until they find a receptive mind and they take root. They will not be identical. Though there may be some inherent similarities, they will be unique.

They will be unique because we, each and every one of us, is unique. If you don’t believe me, go ask your alien kitten (or dog). Just don’t admit your story lacks an alien kitten.
That kind of ticks them off.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Lynda K. Scott comes from a long line of Kentucky storytellers (although some of those storytellers told stories to keep their stills from being discovered). While her books aren’t designed to ‘hide a still’, they have won or been nominated for a variety of awards, including the RWA Golden Heart. Reviewer’s have said her work is ‘breathtaking adventure’, ‘creative, exciting and emotionally stirring’, and ‘brings science fantasy to life’.

Her interests span the gamut from organic gardening to astronomy, from crafting to sharp shooting. She is a member of several chapters of the RWA, including the Celtic Hearts, Beau Monde, HHRW and the FF&P. Additionally, she has a shared blog to highlight her work and the work of other futuristic, fantasy or paranormal authors. She invites all readers to join her newsletter by sending a blank email to LyndaKScott-Newsgroup-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

She now lives in Michigan with her darling husband; her big lovable doofus of a Rottweiler-mix Zuzu and her alien kitten, Wookie, who believes she is the evil genius behind all of Lynda’s work.


Heartstone

Eric d'Ebrur is out of time. He must find the legendary Heartstone and fulfill the ancient Gar'Ja bond he shares with the Stonebearer. But when he finds her, he discovers that love can be more dangerous than the Gawan threat. Eric can defeat the mind-controlling Gawan but will it cost him the woman he loves?

After terrifying episodes of hypersensitivity, Keriam Norton thinks she's losing her mind. When handsome shapeshifter Eric d'Ebrur saves her from the monstrous Gawan, she's sure of it. But insane or not, she'll find the Heartstone and, if she's lucky, a love to last a lifetime.


Lynda will be donating 10% of the Heartstone royalties for the Oct-Dec period to St. Jude’s For Children, one of her favorite charities (you can see her three favorite charities on her website www.lyndakscott.com plus you can read the unpublished Prologue to Heartstone). Please consider making their gift a generous one by ordering Heartstone for yourself or as a gift.

To win a free copy of Heartstone, leave a comment AND send Lynda an email to Lynda@LyndaKScott.com with FFP in the Subject line and your snail mail address in the body.

35 comments:

Lynda K. Scott said...

Good morning, all!. I'm delighted to be here today and I look forward to your comments! Have a great day!

Tina Donahue said...

Great post, Lynda - and yes, I have had the same thing happen to me. What's that old saying about two minds (or many) with the same thought? :)

Sarah J. McNeal said...

May I borrow Wookie for a bit? There are only, what?, 20 plots in the world? Individual perspetion and perspective makes all the difference. I enjoyed your blog and I want you kitty. LOL
All the best to you.
Sarah

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Lynda,

Hi, you're so right! With romance, the basic plot lines are often similar. But we are all unique individuals and so our novels are special. Think I need a cat for inspiration though!

Jacqueline Seewald
new release: Stacy's Song, YA romance

Tea Leaves and Tarot Cards, paranormal historical romance

Lynda K. Scott said...

Hi Tina, it's always amazing how so many people can have the same thoughts at the same time, isn't it? Mmm, I wonder if that would be a good plot? And I wonder how many of us are going to have the same idea now? LOL

Victoria said...

Hi Lynda -
I'm loving Wookie. What a great cat. Can't blame her for wanting an alien kitty in the story :). Thanks for such an enjoyable post.

Lynda K. Scott said...

Hi Sarah,

That's so true and with only about 20 plots, it makes it difficult to come up with a fresh take.

I mentioned loaning her services out, but Wookie gave me the 'stink eye' and said 'Mrowrrr' I think that means she's way too busy trying to keep me in line, lol You know it how it goes...evil geniuses are always busy.

Lynda K. Scott said...

Hi Jacqueline,

That's really the wonder - that we all use the same basic plot (love) but dress it so differently that it's wonderfully unique.

Cats make excellent muses. Wookie tells me that every day ;-)

Lynda K. Scott said...

Hi Victoria,

Wookie thanks you for the support on having an alien kitten in the story :-)

I'm glad you enjoyed my, er, our blog.

Lisa Kessler said...

Great blog Lynda!!!

You're so right too! Many times I've heard writers who were afraid someone would "steal" their idea, but the reality is even if we all had the same writing assignment, we'd never end up writing the same book!

So what if there are a million werewolf books out there, write yours and make it yours...

And add the alien kitten! LOL

Lisa :)

Lynda K. Scott said...

Hi Lisa,

A while back I conducted a series of fiction technique classes and had students concerned that someone else would steal their ideas. So I gave them a premise and told them to write a short story. When they came back, the stories were each different. That was the only way to convince them :-)

LOL. that alien kitten is getting a lot of support!

Alexis Morgan said...

When I get asked about this problem, I always suggest people read an anthology called Many Blood Returns. The authors all wrote stories about a vampire with a birthday theme. Same basic premise with widely different stories.

Rita Merlow said...

Hi Lynda,
I reeally got sidetracked somewhere between the Kentucky still and my own brussel sprouts which beckon to me from the great beyond!

Thanks for this provoking idea of never having enough original ideas.

But, I'm sure back in the good ole days of forbidden stills, there may have been fewer stories to share, but who ever noticed? LOL!

Lynda K. Scott said...

Hi Alexis,

I'll make note of that anthology for future reference. It's always handy for newer writers to see the point illustrated :-)

Lynda K. Scott said...

Hi Rita,

That's a wild side track :-) The brussel sprouts? Mmm. Kind of sounds like a story I read about a hundred years ago. Straight SF, but no romance which is probably why I can't remember the title offhand. LOL

I suspect most of the 'still' stories involved Revenuer's and clever hillbillies (or, in my case, ridge runners) who outwitted them. ;-) Write what you know, lol

Maeve said...

Perhaps it's the writer's "collective intelligence" that triggers us all to spark the same general idea. Like the Borg - resistance is futile - you will be assimilated. But as you so aptly said, "We'll each write our OWN story." After all, we all have a unique perception based on what we've lived. Great post!

ciaraknight said...

You are so right. I give a workshop at the local middle school on descriptive writing. When I give the topic and specifics each student writes a unique story. It's great.

ciaraknight said...

You are so right. I give a workshop at the local middle school on descriptive writing. When I give the topic and specifics each student writes a unique story. It's great.

SiNn said...

awesome post Lynda I so love Wookie shes adorable as well as so right sometime i think when it happens its a sign of whats in right now cantever have too many stories with the same baseline concept least in my opinion u cant lol

Lynda K. Scott said...

Hi Maeve, I like that 'collective intelligence' Borg-thing! Maybe we do and maybe that IS why so many have the same idea at the same time :-)

Lynda K. Scott said...

Hi Ciara, kudos for giving workshops to middle schoolers! It's so important that kids learn to write well.

Lynda K. Scott said...

Hi SiNn! I think you're right, it is a sign of what's 'in' and, if they're futuristic or paranormal romance, you just can't have too many stories :-)

Wookie thanks you and agrees she IS adorable ;-)

She adds that she isn't conceited, lol

Julie Robinson said...

Great minds do think alike, Lynda. I really like your paragraph starting "A story idea is created not just by what's happening . . ." Very true.

Julie Robinson said...

I wish my cat would speak to me this way. But she's not as evolved, obviously.
:-)

Lynda K. Scott said...

Hi Julie!

Wookie informs me that your cat will speak to you when she has something to say and that clearly you've made her very happy so she is content to be silent.

Mmm, I think Wookie is trying to tell me that I need to work harder on making her happy since she chats all the time, lol

Asylumgirl said...

My alien kitten Tookie thanks you for a wonderful post Linda and for admitting that alien pets do exist. lol

Deidre
deidre_durance at hotmail dot com

Lorrie said...

And don't forget your unique voice that is telling the story. If there are any fresh ideas out there, I can't find them.
You're right though, a new perspective is all it takes. Personal experience, life, all add to an old idea with so few plots to work with.
Thanks for the reassurance.

Julie LaLonde said...

Ah! Contentment/Complacency---same thing. Apparently I need to rile her up a bit.

desitheblonde said...

i like the idea of the cat sound cool you need to up load pic of him
well animals do weird thing to people
and i love my kid king
best of luck with the books love to read and blog on t hem

Lynda K. Scott said...

Hi Diedre,

I'd be the last one to deny alien kittens exist, lol Wookie would never speak to me...again? Mmm.

Lynda K. Scott said...

Hi Lorrie,

You're welcome :-) Thanks for stopping by.

Lynda K. Scott said...

Hi Desitheblonde,

You can see a pic of Wookie on my website at www.lyndakscott.com She's the 'be-yoo-t-fol' one using her feline anti-gravity to perch on the very narrow window sill. She wants to make sure we all know she has 'skills', lol

Lynda K. Scott said...

I want to thank everyone for stopping by! You've all been great!

Wookie wants me to tell you that after I put all the names of commenters who also emailed their addys to me, she chose Victoria as the winner!

Victoria, you should get your copy of Heartstone shortly.

Thanks again, everyone, for making my, and Wookie's, visit to the FF&P blog so enjoyable. May you all have a wonderful holiday!

Savanna Kougar said...

Lynda, so true about the 'differences' authors bring to the table. That Wookie is one smart alien kitty!

Pamala Knight said...

I'm late to the party in reading this excellent post (hi Wookie!) but wanted to say thank you. It's inspiring and gives a reminder about how we're all unique in our "sameness."