The other night I had a new idea for a new novel.
Flora isn't in it. Actually, no one we already know is in it, but it is set in Califa. It's a love story.
High concept: Bluebeard crossed with The Little Mermaid crossed with the Beggar's Opera, lashed with a heavy dose of Goth (the music and the revival.)
Low concept: What if the little Mermaid gave away her voice & tail to marry the Prince only to discover that the Prince was Bluebeard? What would she do then, huh?
Did I mention it was a love story?
Anyway, so the idea just came to me full-form and I've already written the opening. Of course, I'm supposed to be thinking about the further adventures of Flora, but I may well work on this for a time, while I continue doing research for the next Flora book. It's nice to work on something that feels less under the gun. And it's nice to be excited about an idea, too. I've been wanting to write something more explicitly fairy-tale riffing (though there is a fairy tale riff in FLORA'S DARE), and also something more explicitly a girl's first love, but nothing specific had come to my mind previously.
I usually start stories with characters--I can have a vague idea, but if if the idea has no character attached to it, then the idea doesn't go too far. But sometimes a character just springs full formed, a la Athena, from my brain and then its just a matter of listening to what the character has to say. Once the character introduces him/her/itself, the rest is easy. So, I suppose I should really say not that I had an idea for a story, but rather that a character wanting to tell a story--her story--popped in last night. I hope she's gonna stick around for a while, 'cause I think it's a pretty good story.