I love this part of the process, although it’s so nebulous it can hardly be called a process. I recall vividly sitting in a café on the coast somewhere between Sydney and Brisbane – okay I recall the moment and the café just not exactly where it was - reading a magazine article, when THE IDEA struck.
As with the previous ideas that became books, at that point THE IDEA was just a premise with the main character appearing as little more than a silhouette.
She (the main character) is still nameless. I always take a long time with names before the correct one comes, but I know a lot more about her now than I did in that café. I know how she feels about some of the things that concern her and how she will react to situations. I know her family situation, her husband’s job (which is important to the plot), and with each piece of the puzzle she comes a little further out of the shadows.
The thing I love most about this part of the process is that there is all this possibility ahead of me before the internal critic gets to work and tells me I haven't quite captured the brilliance of my original idea!
On this subject my favourite philosopher (Winnie the Pooh) says, 'When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.'
Neil Gaiman said, ‘Perfection is like chasing the horizon. Keep moving.’
So I’ll keep moving and in the meantime I’m enjoying the nebulous part of the process.