• Mark Meier

"Where do you get your ideas?"

That’s one of my favorite questions, as a writer. I’ve been asked a number of times, and my favorite response is, “How do you stop yours?” I already have more writing planned than I could possibly complete in my lifetime. If I get in a position that would allow me to write full-time, I might just make it. That time better come soon, though. Even though Piers Anthony could crank out four novels each and every year for a decade, I don’t think I could do it. Maybe his skill level was way higher than mine, but the critique process alone on a novel would take a year for me. Sure, I can work on other stuff while the critiques happen, but I have a series planned that’ll reach thirty novels (give-or-take a few). The three-novel set in Painted Wall* I have going now has been in the works for twenty years. No, I haven’t worked on it that whole time, I’ve done TONS of other writing in those years, but the idea came up twenty years ago. Life happened, and it was back-burner time. Purple Crypt*, however, is an idea that pounced on me earlier this year. I’ve been doing some outlining. When you expect thirty novels with intricate plot lines that all points to a single event, outlining is mandatory. Another writing thing I don’t understand is Writers’ Block. What is that? Please, in the comments, tell me what it is. Do writers just not feel like writing? Have they run out of ideas? See above. Perhaps it’s a single scene that doesn’t work. Then write something else. That’s my suggested “cure.” Just write. Even if it’s garbage, only fit for your computer’s recycle bin, never to be seen by human eyes for the rest of eternity, WRITE! While you’re writing, it might occur to you how to get through a problematic scene. A dry spell of ideas might get rained upon. If it’s just a “don’t feel like it” thing, writing will crush that, too. I did have a dry spell once. Spent two years without writing a single word. I don’t consider that a block, though. I was simply burned out. I’ll tell you about that later.

*These titles are fake to protect the plot. I really can’t believe someone else hasn’t already done these, and it takes me so long someone else could “steal” the plot and publish before I finished.

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