Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Want to help me write a book? Day 2

For those who missed yesterday's post, I've solicited everybody's help in coming up with the concept for the book my main character is writing. For details, read yesterday's post here .

I just finished making a really dorky Excel spreadsheet with all our ideas, and here's what we've got so far:

In regards to names for Gabby's fella, the name Rafe came up most consistently, so let's go wtih that. And Rafe needs a last name as well. Those suggested were: Gray, Greyson, or Geary. (Some comments have been e-mailed to me rather than posted on the board, which is totally fine for you shy types.)

For a plot, we had a variety of ideas, but they fall under two umbrellas:

1. A speculative fiction/fantasy/supernatural kind of thing:

  • Gabrielle has some sort of supernatural gift, which is a nice idea because Gabby in real life is pretty ordinary. If you have thoughts on what her gift could be, please post them!
  • Gabrielle is an angel detective and she helps people solve their problems. (Without them knowing they're receiving divine intervention, maybe?) And she ends up bonding with Rafe (angel or human? That was kind of up in the air) when they team up to fight some kind of battle.
  • A comic book like story where the world is very black and white, good triumphs evil every time, and there's lots of action. Gabrielle's sidekick would be Raquel, and they swoop in to safe Rafe, who'd forget all about Raquel and fall for Gabrielle. (Sounds like a smart guy.) This suggestion came with the full package. The suggested title was: As it should be. The suggested final line was: "and all was returned as it should be," and the opening line was, "A familiar twinge prickled at my hand and made my fingers restless. It was go time." Very fun stuff.

2. A quieter kind of story, possibly combined with a fairytale element.

  • Gabby's book is written in diary form (think Princess Diaries, maybe?) She's changed the names of all her frenemies/family members/etc. but Gabrielle-the-heroine is going through many of the same circumstances as Gabby-the-person. Or, in that same vein, she's writing the life she wishes were hers and realizes in her writing that popularity isn't worth the price.
  • Gabrielle is the chosen heiress to some fabulous kingdom. Rafe is her champion (which I like, because in her real life, the guy's too hardheaded to claim her in public), and three witches are trying to usurp her kingdom.
  • For a historical novel, Gabby's writing what happens in her life, but in a different time period. I like this idea combined with a couple of others we've had. Maybe set it in medieval times, and Gabby could be writing her own personal fairy tale. She could either be the Princess, like was suggested up above, or she could be a peasant girl with a thing for the prince, and Rafe is her best friend with a massive crush on her. And then at the end she would learn she's of noble blood.

Alright, hopefully I didn't miss anybody's suggestions. If I did, please let me know, because it was completely unintentional.

We're still brainstorming, so if you have plot ideas separate from what's posted above, please feel free to share them! If you want to vote for one of the ideas, or if you have a thought for how to tweak or expand something, share that as well!

Once we nail down our plot, we'll talk title and first line.

I'm having a blast, guys! Makes me want to build a bigger office and move you all in here!


  1. *If* you decided to go with a supernatural gift of some kind, I had the thought (okay, stolen from the Crazy Idea concept I came up with last year that we could co-write, ha ha) that she could have an ability to know the Truth--as in, tell when anything isn't true (think human truth serum/lie detector), though she might not always know what IS, unless she hears it. It would be a nice off-set to her honesty problem in real life. Which could hit her at some point, when she realizes that it isn't only about knowing when someone lying to YOU, but also whether YOU'RE being truthful with others that matters.

  2. Okay, so I didn't check your blog for ooone day, and you have this awesome post!
    I kind of had a story just like this that I gave up on, so it'd be awesome if you could have it finished! It sounds like an awesome pitch to me, so I sure hope your editor takes it.

    I've been racking my mind for an opening mind for an opening line, and the ones I've come up with are pretty lame, but here's one that I thought wasn't so bad, "That saying 'friends are like flowers' made me laugh; my friends were more like dandelions. The prettiest weeds, that take over your life and you can't get rid of." Eh, so lame!

    Good luck thinking!

  3. Roseanna, it's too bad Andy left Zondervan. (Zondervan or TN?) I think he would have really dug that weirdo idea of yours. All I remember is the boy having a complex where he thought he was made of glass.

    The truth thing is a good idea. Could go along very well with what Cina, Kaitlyn, and Bebs (right?) suggested about Gabby using Gabrielle to solve problems in her real life.

    Mary, in all fairness to you, I think this is the first time I've ever posted on a Monday. Actually, I'd scheduled the post for today, but then I got WAY too excited and posted yesterday instead.

    And, actually, I don't think your idea is lame at all! Depending on the plot we all choose for Gabby, I think it could be a contender.

  4. Yeah, the brother thought he was made of glass and left pieces of himself throughout his day--every night when he slept, his dreams reconstructed him/his day and solved all the problems that had arisen through his unique prism. The sister Knew Truth--and together they were hence unstoppable, able to solve any mystery. =)

    Alas, a book that will probably never come to anything. =)

  5. Yes, me again. ;-) FYI, the working title of the above was "Shattered Like the Truth." If you wanna steal it, feel free. Then when this series is a smashing success and everyone's begging for the book that Gabby wrote, we can write it. ;-) Mwa ha ha ha.

  6. Another idea! What if you did the quieter story, where Gaby has a crush on the prince. And she goes through all this stuff (what exactly I don't know) but eventually gets in then conversation with Rafe. Rafe tells her how he has finally come to realize the Jesus is a King. And how Rafe is the son of a king. Anyways, it gets Gabby to thinking, "that means I am a daughter of a king, which makes me princess." so then she realizes that being queen to this prince and having money and whatever isn't wha life is about. and she never loved he prince, just loved the thought of owning the kingdom so to speak. then she realizes that she really loves rafe. i have no idea if that made any sense but just a thought.

    but i also like the one here gabby's writing the life she wishes was hers.

    for Rafe's last name i really like Greyson.

  7. I Like Greyson as Rafe's last name too.
    I like the historical idea, it sounds interesting.
    I also like the idea of her having a supernatural gift.

  8. Kaitlyn, I'm digging the spiritual tie-in. Good thought.

    I like Greyson too, although I think I like Grayson better with Rafe. I have no idea why. Rafe Grayson. Rafe Greyson. Hmm...

    We could combine the supernatural gift with the historical idea, Leah. I think that could work quite well, actually.

  9. Thanks! I thinks you're rigt though about the 'Grayson' instead of 'Greyson.' I think it looks better. :-) what else should we try and come up with?

  10. Do you have any thoughts on titles if we do the medieval one? (Am I the only one who has to type medieval about ten times before getting the spelling correct?)

  11. Hah, no you're not the only one, Steph:P Medieval -- took me three tries;)

    I like the supernatural thing because it's different. It's like, Gabrielle's normal life is the "normal" part of the book -- but then we do something totally different and it's so fun to read because it's just...different. Wow. I just used the word different three times. Forgive me, writers:P

  12. Ok medieval (yes it took me a while to get the spelling right) names.... VIP (very important princess, pleasantly peasant,

    urg this is hard. let me think a little more and i'll get back to you.

  13. What about "Princes, Peasants, and a Princess?" or "Love Him, Don't Love Him" (like when you pick flower petals to see whether or not you like a guy, even though technically it is vice versa)"Invisibly Yours," (because she has a crush on the prince but the prince doesn't know who she is)

    i'm still thinking though.... :-)

  14. I like the idea of Gabby writing her book like a diary and having it almost opposite to whats happening in real life. Through her life and the book she is writing it could help her on her journey to know God.
    I also had the idea that in real life she could be ignored. Which made me think the book could be called

    The Invisible

    (I thought you could always wwrite the 'visble' in Invisble a different colour because it's like she starts as invisible but changes.)
    Then when she gets to know God it all changes and she relizes popularity and money isn't everything.

    I came up with this as an opening line

    Uhh I've hardly had a chance to write in her all week I've been soooooo busy...

    Of course we all know this isn't true and that she's actually been sitting at home all week.
    Random ideas but I thought i would put them out there.
    I hope that all makes sense.

    I hope I helped, and I'm sure whatever you do will be fantastic:-)

  15. I still like the diary & medieval idea. (and yes I had to type this word up like four times before I spelled it right haha)

    Another good medieval title idea I think would be something along the lines of "Charming, or Best friend?"
    Or! what Kaitlyn said I really like that title idea too. "Princes, Peasants, and a Princess?" You could even change it up a bit and make the Princes and Peasants non-plural.
    Brainstorming is fun!
    I think it'd be an interesting tale to have Gabby write about Gabrielle as a heiress and Rafe having a crush on her and she has a crush on the Prince deal. :)

  16. I'm so glad I'm not the only one who struggles with medieval. Maybe by the time we get this all sorted out, I'll have it down. Medieval. Medieval. Medieval.

    Kaitlyn, I like "Invisibly Yours." Ties in with Gabby's real life as well. It also goes along with Cherry's thoughts about invisibility.

    Jazmine, I like your thoughts about the Gabrielle/Rafe/Prince thing. The guy she likes in real life (the one who has a thing for her best friend) is someone who she wishes she didn't like, who she thinks needs to be taken down a notch or two. I think in Gabby's writing life, she would definitely write it as Rafe having a crush on her, and her not being interested at all.

    I hope all that made sense. I went about 20 rounds tonight with my 3-year-old about her attitude and why I was having to take her juice away. I'm feeling a bit brain dead at the moment.

  17. Haha, oh the life of a mother. =) even though I'm not a mommy yet, I can remember the days of my mom telling my littlest brother things like that when he was that age.

    thank you though =) I think it'll be really exciting to see how Gabby's book turns out!

  18. Okay so after two days of brainstorming, where are we? What do we need to think about next? Any finalized ideas yet? Or wait a few more days.... sorry for all the questions! Thanks for letting me be a part of this!!! :-)

  19. Lol, Kaitlyn. I'm planning to leave this post up through today and give others a chance to weigh in. Tomorrow I'll post what we've come up with and see what still needs to be done.

    If you're just dying to do some more brainstorming work, you can read back through the ideas up top and see if anything different is striking your fancy. But don't feel obligated!

  20. you got it!!! let me see.... :-)

  21. okay so for the divine intervention one:

    what if gabby is an angel detective and she ends up meeting this guys rafe. (i think he should be human) anyways, he was having his own problem, and together they work on it. but then gabby gets this emergency call from her detective boss and has to go. when rafe asks her why she like ends up telling him that she is an angel. then he helps her go on the quest thingy and rafe realizes what a huge crush he has. but then he's like, "but's she's an angel and i can't date an angel!" but eventually they find a way to be together!
    yes cliche but i have to start somewhere! i'll keep thinking though and try and come up with more. this is a lot of fun!!!

  22. yes william garrot! i must say i love that name :-)

    made up country yes i think makes more sense than a real one. are we looking to name a country?

  23. Oh, right. It'll need a name! Yes. Let's name the country.