So I’m currently working, though not as diligently as I might, on my fourth novel. This continues the series aimed at the so called YA market though will probably be the last for a while. I still intend to continue the series but there is a longer fictional gap before the next story which provides an opportunity to do something different. In the meantime I’m trying to avoid ideas that might make me add another novel to the series or I may never finish the whole story so it’s goodbye giant caterpillars.
I happened to see a caterpillar on tv in close up which made me think that perhaps I could create a story about giant ones. The basic theme for the Heart of the World stories is nature based scenarios so this would fit in fine. Of course giant caterpillars also means giant butterflies! Oh I was off now alright. So there had to be a reason for these giant green crawling things which would mean some sort of experimental research centre from which they had escaped. And perhaps the scientist there had also become infected.
So the next thing is what do these caterpillars do? Well obviously they capture people and stuff them into web things for them to eat and the main character- Tom Allenby- has to rescue them. My later take on the story was that the giant butterflies that emerged would be peaceful though perceived as otherwise and it would be the arguments over what to do with them that would create the antagonism. Are they a risk to be destroyed or a new life form which needs to be preserved? Then that scientist also transforms and just after those giant butterflies have been saved drains their energy to become some sort of super butterfly being. I wrote quite a synopsis for this until it occurred to me it was terrible. Apologies btw if you are currently penning a book involving giant caterpillars, I’m sure yours is much better.
This is the push and pull of writing fiction I think. You have an idea that seems like the greatest thing ever and then you realise its’ not. In fact it might be the worst one. I remember years ago developing a plot that was actually the story of a well- known Charles Dickens novel and it was only after a lot of writing that I read it back and found it very familiar. I hadn’t even added robots or anything. Weirdly it was based on a real life incident that had happened which says something about our neighbourhood. The point is you have to come up with awful ideas before you get to the good ones though sometimes a writer doesn’t necessarily know the difference.
Erm, what do you mean- why do I keep publishing my awful ideas? Maybe if those giant caterpillars(sniiip- that’s enough giant caterpillars)