Never heard of a space opera? Neither had I until I did a little research on Samhain, an e-book publisher. They’re looking for romantic novellas of 25,000 to 30,000 words that take place in a setting other than the world we live in. Like outer space.
This got me thinking about my manuscript, the one languishing in the drawer. I do have a foreign-world setting, at least for parts of the story, but thinking about setting 25,000 words there made me realize that I haven’t really built that world. I’ve got a couple of rooms I visit, but that’s it. The rest is vast unchartered territory.
Somehow this got me excited. It might be a challenge to see if I could write something that happened totally in that world. I could use my same characters and what bits I have of the setting…that’s all I got, frankly. Then I went to yoga. On the way home, I stopped at the bookstore. There I saw for the first time a bunch of really thick books that all take place in a world with the same exact name as mine.
Damn. I came home and brainstormed new names for my alternate world. I think I found something good, but when I tried to come up with a conflict, I got zero. My enthusiasm dampened. I amused myself by reading How I Became a Famous Novelist by Steve Hely. HIlarious novel by a Letterman writer.
This morning, I took a bike ride. I’d given up on getting anything going with the space opera, but almost as soon as I turned the corner from my street, a got an idea for how I could work a conflict–something that I already had going in Traveling Girl; it would take just a little tweak to put it on the other world. For my bike ride, I thought of nothing else but how this all would work.
Finally, I’m finding my way back into Traveling Girl. By a side door into another dimension, but still.