As I approach the end of my second book, I find myself looking ahead to my third with great excitement. A couple days ago, I mentioned some of my ideas to my wife, and over dinner, we hashed out a few specific themes of the next story and a possible protagonist.
I like it a lot. I will probably allow the idea to percolate in my head a while and talk to my agent about it, but I may have settled on something, which is both a thrill and a relief.
There is a document that is almost always open on my laptop that contains a running list of potential writing ideas, and I am constantly adding to this list, stealing from it, and refining it. This includes ideas for future characters and settings, potential Op-Ed and poetry topics, an idea for a coffee table book, and much more. Also included on this list was the idea for my next book, or more accurately, the three ideas that I intend to combine in order to craft my next story.
One idea comes from a conversation that I had with a student a couple years ago. My student said something amusing, and it led to an idea for a unique business model that I thought would serve well as the basis of a story.
Another idea originated while driving through rural Connecticut on a Sunday afternoon. I drove past a general store set high upon a hill, and before I had crossed into the next town, I had the idea for a story.
The third comes from a documentary that I saw last year on HBO. I found a specific individual in the film quite compelling and thought that I could one day base a character around her life story.
These three elements will likely form the basis of my next book, though things are always subject to change. I had the first three chapters of my current book written before realizing that the only thing that was working was the protagonist, Milo. I scrapped the idea, abandoned the twenty pages of text, rescued Milo, and placed him in an entirely different story.
This is the book that I am in the process of completing. Can't wait!