In no more than a page, write about the instant the idea you’re working with first grabbed you. Try to zero in on the first glimmer. Ask yourself, why does this stick with me? Why do I care about it?
Well, first of all, I knew I wanted to write about Cici again. This is not a new character to me, this is a familiar character who I liked. So the question is, I guess, why did that first scene come to mind? There were unlimited possibilities, a universe of possibilities about what I could do next. What was I hoping to do? I have this vague sense that Romeo is going to wind up affecting Randall somehow, but that’s not going to happen for eons, but it was important to me to keep Romeo in the story. And the waiting room, the customs moment, was one where it struck me that even dragons have to wait in lines. And yet, do they really? Maybe this is a story about being exceptional. Because Cici is exceptional, but she’s also very alone. The only other exceptional people in her life are ones that she doesn’t really like (although she does love them) and she’s not close to. They’re the ones who call her an idiot and are not friendly to her. And it is, sort of, the point, I think that she is finding a family of her own, an unusual family, but one with pets and a little sister and a circling around him romantic partner. That’s going to be a slow burn romantic relationship and not one that’s ever going to include sex scenes, not at all. But it is going to include a romantic energy.
And this is me writing about relationships. Well, I do care about the relationships. But what was it in the scene at the customs that stuck with me? Romeo needs to get home, she has a time keeper on her wrist that is going to take her home. And Cici is perfectly attuned to sitting and waiting, that doesn’t bother her at all, because time doesn’t matter to her in the same way. She has immense amounts of time, immense amounts of patience. An exceptional character who takes her own attributes for granted. But also, those are moments of change. I had that right. A moment at customs is a moment of opportunity, a moment when you don’t know what the story that’s going to unfold before you is all about, a moment when everything is open. That’s what I liked about that customs scene, the sense that unlimited possibilities loom before you when you’re going through customs. What is this new world going to be like? And yet at the same time, customs is totally boring. You’re waiting in line, you’re waiting for something to happen, it’s sort of the most grounded moment of any adventure. So yes, I chose that first scene because of the sense of unlimited possibilities and adventure inherent in the moment of boredom of waiting for customs.