Now, normally I would be very suspicious of a new idea while I'm at this stage of writing my novel, and frankly, I'd be a little worried too, as it would make me think my novel was going badly to be letting this usurper come a-knocking. But the big surprise was that it was an idea for a film, not a novel. And as I was having a guilt-free day of doing nothing, my mind was open and it just kept coming and coming in that delicious way that my (infrequent) ideas seem to do. It's one of those ideas that is so simple and obvious that it's unbelievable that it hasn't been done before. I even jumped on the internet to do a bit of research and all my ideas were backed up by real, live, juicy facts.
No, I'm not about to turn away from my job as a novelist and become a screenwriter - I have never really had those kinds of ambitions. But I would like to moonlight for a wee while. Indulge myself in tutu-ing away on something that has no deadline or expectation. I think I'll write a treatment and pass it on to friends and family in the film business and see what they make of it. If they think it has possibility, I might take it up as a project once the novel is finished. Or I might not. It depends how loud it gets.
I know how annoying it is to me when people say "oh, I had an idea for a novel, I might just tippy-tap away and see what happens," so I will acknowledge that screen-writing is every bit as hard as writing a novel and I shouldn't be taking it so lightly. I much prefer novel-writing for the control it gives me over my material. Screenwriters I know are bound by producers, film commissions, and that's just at the script stage; then there's the fact that in order for it to be fully realised, someone has to come along with pots of money, whereas if you write a good novel it is relatively inexpensive for a publisher to produce.
So it is not without a bite of humble pie that I am taking on my new little project, and acknowledgment that it's not as simple as it sounds.