The idea bouncer-offer

Every writer needs at least one person they can turn to for help with plotting issues. The ideal candidate is one who doesn’t bat an eyelash when you say things like, “So there’s this machine, right? And it’s made entirely out of marshmallow fluff? And it has the ability to teleport you across the country in 8 seconds, transcribe your thoughts and fold your laundry, you with me? Do you think it would be totally unbelievable if this machine could also choose the gender of your first-born child?”

For me, my idea bouncer-offer is my husband. He has a ridiculously wide base of knowledge, which serves him well in trivia games and serves me well when I ask things like, “Hey, what do you know about string theory?” Because the answer is never “Nothing.” When I was rewriting Four Stones, my very patient husband split a bottle of wine with me one Saturday night and chatted about magical stones for hours. This past weekend, he spent three whole days helping me puzzle through quantum mechanics and the limitations of time travel. And my stories are so much stronger because of it. You can bet that when and if I have a book published, his name will be first in the acknowledgements section!

What about you? Do you have a go-to person when you need help plotting your WIPs or puzzling through sticky points?


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18 Responses

  1. Susan says:

    First of all, your husband sounds like a real winner. 😀 I can’t wait to meet you guys!

    Second of all, my husband is ALSO my bouncer-offer-dude. His engineering skills have been INVALUABLE when it came to inventing all the gadgets for the Spirit-Hunters!

    Great post–we writers really DO need that sort of person in our lives!

    • Meredith says:

      I can’t wait to meet you guys too! And yes, I can totally see how having a husband with an engineering background would help with your book!

  2. Wow. Your husband and my husband should play trivia together. I’ve been bouncing off of mine for a while too. I’m not sure if this is because he’s the one most accessible and I’m lazy, though. 🙂

  3. Pam Harris says:

    My go-to person is definitely my cousin, Quita. I’ll ask her how crazy an idea sounds, but I try not to go into too many details since she’s the one who will ultimately read the manuscript first. 🙂

    • Meredith says:

      Ooh, yes! Having another writer to bounce ideas off of is wonderful because they can take it to that next level for you. You’re lucky. 🙂

  4. Your lucky to have a husband like that! I have one writer friend I love to tell my ideas to, because during my rambling, I realize what’s wrong. Also, I just got a new crit partner, and I asked her if she would be up for idea bouncing while I gave my MS a rest. She was all up for it!

  5. Meredith says:

    Yep, that’s how it works for me too. I ramble and ramble, and as I’m doing so I can see the holes in my story. It’s great that you have another writer there to help you fill them.

  6. Trisha says:

    I’m pretty sure I could ask my bf for info on just about any topic too – he loves to get on his soap boxes (yes, he’s got many :D).

  7. This is the sweetest post ever- hooray for helpful husbands, and your marshmallow fluff machine sounds like the most deliciously insidious invention EVER. You gotta use that!

  8. Holly says:

    I’ve tried idea bouncing off my sister, but her response is generally along the lines of, “You are so weird.” lol But I have some great writer friends that are always up for brainstorming sessions. 🙂

  9. Rima says:

    Yep, my hubby is mine as well. He is a lawyer, and therefore very pragmatic. Sometimes it’s comical, because I’ll be talking about a guy who is a werewolf and he’ll say something like, “Does this werewolf have a social security number? A drivers license? How is doing all of this stuff?”

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