As you all know, I just finished the rough draft of This Broken Earth: Book 1, The U.S. of After and after revising a few times sent it off to my readers for review. This does not mean I stop working. I am simply in a holding pattern while I work up the nerve to start on Book 2, The U.S.S. Ronald Reagan. My writer brain, unfortunately, will not let me have any time off.
I am currently between churches. It's kind of a long story, but I am seeking a church for my family right now and in the mean time decided to visit a local church nearby, a church where my wife spent the better part of her young life. I was sitting in church service and the pastor approached the lectern to preach about the book of Revelation. He is one of those guys (in the majority among Evangelicals) who believes in the pre-tribulation rapture. The idea began in 1827 with John Darby who wrangled several scriptures of the Bible (taken out of context mostly) into a belief that Jesus is going to return secretly to take all the Christians away before all the bad stuff happens during the Great Tribulation, like the Left Behind books illustrate. I don't agree with this eschatology, but I still listened. I always listen.
Of course, this doesn't have anything to do with my epiphany, only that because of a subject the preacher discussed, I now have a major subplot for my final novel in the series. My novel includes a nefarious character, namely the Anti-Christ, who is more like Rick Warren in appearance and demeanor, but underneath is absolute evil. The pastor quoted Revelation 13, and in that passage, it describes this "Anti-Christ" figure being given a fatal wound and then rising from the dead, therefore counterfeiting Jesus. I happen to have a para-military character in the novel who would be perfect for the job of the attempted assassination. Daniel 11:21 says that the Anti-Christ will be a "master of intrigue" as well. This led to the epiphany which I will not give away here. That is for the pages of the final novel in my series, Book 3, Babylon the Great.
The point is, that inspiration can come from anywhere. A writer needs to keep a notebook or their smartphone handy for these occasions when those kernels of storyline and character development pop into their head. I use the "Reminders" app on my iPhone for this. When I insert the idea into my book, I simply check it off and it is deleted. It is also necessary for a writer to be thinking about their current novel all the time. If you are a writer like me, you can't stop thinking about the novel and how it is going to be written. It keeps you up at night. It forces you out of bed at 2am to write a short paragraph or a chapter or even a simple sentence.
The first book in the series is nearly in the can, and will be out August 1st as a FREE e-book to all, in all formats, but the second book is flying out of me, and the third book is taking shape in church service, while driving down the road, and while watching my kids play XBox Kinect.
Writers, real writers, always keep their minds active, pushing themselves to sit at their computer or notepad and write. All the rest are just dreamers.