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Dianne Salerni : Writer of Teen and Middle Grade Fiction | Simmering


I’ve been working pretty intensely on Book 2 of the Eighth Day series, and there’s also been a lot of exciting benchmarks in the publication of Book 1 this month — a cover reveal, ARCs, and THE EIGHTH DAY is now listed on Amazon and available for pre-order! I also found out the release date, which is APRIL 22!

But every once in awhile, I get reminded that I have other ideas simmering in the back of my mind, waiting for their turn. For example, I can never pass by this abandoned house — located on the property of the White Clay Creek Preserve near the Pennsylvania/Delaware border — without remembering half an idea for a story about this place.

I have in mind a teenage couple, enjoying a walk in the preserve when they get caught in a downpour and take shelter inside this house. One of them never comes out again. The other is suspected of murder (tried and convicted on social media, of course) and nobody believes what really happened. Inspiration for this story comes from chilling tales of disappearances reported by Ambrose Bierce.

The problem is, I only have a premise, not a real story. No character arcs, no plot structure, no idea how to resolve it.

I comfort myself by remembering that I had the premise for a secret day of the week almost 2 years before I finally came up with the plot for THE EIGHTH DAY. So, for now, I’ll just let this house simmer on the back burner. Some day, it will either boil over — or boil away.

Do YOU have any ideas on the back burner?

I’ll be skipping Wednesday this week and returning on Friday for First Impressions in November.

23 Responses to Simmering

  1. Looks like it could turn into an exciting story eventually. I have a lot of lingering stories waiting in the wings.

    Can’t wait to read your book!

  2. Chris Fries says:

    Cool house — I can definitely see why it would inspire a story idea. And I really like the premise you have simmering — it sounds like a wonderful story, filled with possibilities!

    And too often it seems to me like ALL my story ideas are on the back burner, if not off the stove completely. I need to work hard to keep a few stirring on the front burner, lol!

  3. That sounds like an awesome story. Hope you write it some day. I do have some ideas as snippets of ideas. I just leave them there until I’m ready to start a new project and then pick what I want to explore. Not that I write much. I’m only on book 2.

  4. Southpaw says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Southpaw says:

    It sound interesting.I hope it boils over! I have those pesky little premises floating around my head too.:)

    How exciting that your book is available for pre-order!

  6. Tiana Smith says:

    I always have simmering ideas… the hard part is deciding which one to cook πŸ™‚

  7. Lydia Kang says:

    Argh, I have a premise for two books I want to write, but no plot! Well, sometimes it just takes more time for the actual story to germinate and become real. Cool house, though!

  8. Yes! I saw it on Amazon the other day. Woot!!!

    My backburner is steaming and bubbling over. Got to finish the two projects I have going on now, though.

  9. Robin says:

    Yes, I have lots of back burner ideas and like you said when they simmer they either boil over or boil away. Congrats on all your benchmarks!

    I appreciate how places and real stories so often strike ideas for you. Beautiful house!

  10. Julia Tomiak says:

    Yes, I’ve got stuff simmering. I keep notes in Evernote so that if I inspiration for a character or a plot point, I can keep a record. Later, when I come back to check on it, I can either use it if it still sounds good, or toss it out. Don’t writers always have stories simmering and characters talking in their heads? πŸ˜‰
    Congrats on the progress with Eight Day!

  11. I love your thoughts on seeing this house. Very creative!!

  12. Robin says:

    Seems like I always have one idea on the backburner. However, I am madly trying to finish this WIP. I don’t have time to spend pondering anything else. Plus, I am doing NaNo for the first time. Yikes!

  13. Love that idea. I’m always finding myself inspired by places too, as though they create whole storylines in my head.

  14. Sarah Allen says:

    This is totally where I’m at right now πŸ™‚ In the simmering stage. I always start out with characters and a premise rather than an actual plot. But we’ll get there, right? πŸ™‚

    Sarah Allen
    (From Sarah, with Joy)

  15. Sounds like the possibility of another great story.

    Checked out Amazon. CONGRATS!

  16. J E Oneil says:

    Tons! Some are just shadows, some are almost completely plotted out. It’s not just writing that’s fun. It’s imagining.

  17. vbtremper says:

    Yes! I have lots of ideas simmering away. My problem is the time to make them into a real story.

    As for Pope in the Pool – you can search it and see what others have to say about it, but basically it’s about making exposition fun.


  18. Yay, a new series- must go check out! I definitely have issues w/thing simmering. But it helps if I write down some things here and there to keep all the ‘write me, write me’ monsters at bay. =)

  19. Lexa Cain says:

    I have 2 WIPs and they’re so far on the back burner they’re out of sight. But I still have hope, and so should you. I think your idea sounds really creepy! πŸ™‚

  20. Oooh! I like your premise–and I’m sure the plot will come. I know what you mean though. I have a story folder with 20 books in varying stages, just waiting for me to find the time. They’re constantly on my mind–some of them more demanding than others–and it’s hard to prioritize.

    Looking forward to April!

  21. Gwen Gardner says:

    Oooh, possibilities abound. Obviously strange stuff happens inside. Starts with a sound, then they scavenge for food, then they get split up…but that’s been done, hasn’t it? Ah well, you’ll think of something. The photo does look intriguing.

  22. mshatch says:

    I have too many pots simmering; sometimes it’s distracting. I like your premise though… πŸ™‚ I’ve been playing with a couple of ghost stories lately.

    That pic makes me think of some old abandoned school or hospital.

  23. Pk Hrezo says:

    I love that idea, Dianne! And yes I always have lots of back burner ideas simmering. πŸ™‚