The Writing Process 2015: When Flash Becomes Flesh or Doesn’t

Flash Becomes FleshOne morning some months ago I woke up with a flash of a new idea. Not flesh but flash, a moment when something momentous occurs to a character.

Flashes aren’t uncommon.Once upon a time I made note of each one, until I realized when I took a second look I no longer found them intriguing. My theory? If a flash stays with me and becomes flesh in my imagination? Then it’s an idea I can probably sustain for the next year.

The two ideas I brainstormed last September with my brainstorming group were older flashes. They’re both good ideas. I know that once I start the one I choose, new twists will occur to me and the idea will once again be front and center in my mind.

Right now, though, I have this flash. . . We’ll see if flash becomes flesh or doesn’t.

Dog plotting today as Nemo sniffed, so did I. I’m sniffing a story, looking for new information in much the way he does. Two revelations were worth noting on my smartphone voice memo.

One: A snatch of dialogue that was too good to pass up in the first scene of the novel

Two: The realization that I’m at sea about what my main character will do next. So I decided to pull in my family. I have a daughter and two daughters-in-law about the age of my female character. Over the next week I’m going to phone them, and ask them what they would do if. . . They’re used to the way I think. They’ll probably shake their heads and wonder how they came to be related to me, but they’ll help.

Right now I haven’t a clue where to go after the first scene, and everywhere I try to go turns the story into a romance, which is not what I’m looking for. I want romance in the story, absolutely. But this is a women’s fiction novel, which means that the love story probably isn’t the central theme. I have yet to determine what is. Flash becomes flesh or it doesn’t, and there’s no way to rush the process.

Sometimes we’re blinded by a flash until the light fades and we realize that nothing of value is left behind. Have you met people like that? All flash, and whatever hides behind that brilliance or first impression is hidden forever after? If you have, you’ll understand my dilemma.

Stay tuned as I plod/plot/sniff the beginning stages of this possibility. This idea may fizzle.  So I may use one of my two fleshed out ideas. Or possibly the flash may take on a life of its own for a future novel.

Read along with me in 2015 to see. You’ll find all The Writing Process 2015 posts in their own special category to the right. 


  1. Annette sexton on January 13, 2015 at 7:56 am

    Leave it up to a beagle to help . Can’t wait to read this story.

    • Emilie Richards on January 13, 2015 at 8:59 am

      Nemo has his thinking cap on. Of course he won’t help unless treats are involved.

  2. Martha on January 13, 2015 at 8:14 am

    Fascinating Emilie.

  3. Karen Burshnick on January 13, 2015 at 8:51 am

    Interesting process. Our minds work in mysterious ways.

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