In the days since, the idea has sat on my head and grown tentacles, and in my experience, that’s the true measure of a notion that will be fleshed into something larger. I’m not ready to say that it’s absolutely the next novel I write; the process of getting from here to there is fraught with all kinds of peril, and it’s not until I’m about halfway through a draft that I have any confidence at all that I’ll finish. I have a 27,000-word effort from earlier this year that’s still sitting in a file. I looked at it a couple of weeks back, and I’m just not feeling the magic — and yet, I’ve taken it so far that I can’t bear to let it go. So I’ll let it continue to sit, and maybe somewhere down the road, it will speak to me again.
So, then, what I have now is an idea and a certainty that I’m going to try to turn it into something more.
And, as of this morning, I have some character sketches — 500-or-so-word descriptions of the major characters, their motivations, their fears, their physical and psychological attributes. It was great fun to sit down and do those, to breathe a little bit of life into the people now populating my head. I now have some places to start and to revisit when I begin dropping them into a narrative in November.
In a few weeks, I’ll start outlining a story, using the minimalist method that has served me well so far. If NaNoWriMo works for me the way I’m expecting, I’ll be well down the road to a first draft by December. Fingers crossed.