I get story ideas everywhere, all the time.
Doesn’t everyone? Don’t all writers? Please tell me I’m not an oddball!
(Recently we discussed Successful Authors and how ofen they admit they don’t know what they’re dong, HERE.)
I get ‘em all the time.
Ideas… If they are interesting enough, I do a quick talk-to-text and send it to me computer. That’s round one. The next day, I look at them to see if they’re still interesting. I see if the email actually contained anything that could be a compelling story. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. If it isn’t for sure still interesting a day later, DELETE.
Sometimes an idea is interesting enough to flesh out but not be its own story. That can become a cool back story or motivation for a minor character in a bigger story.
The ones that are truly interesting get a few lines written and go into a file in my computer called “Story Ideas.” When I am struggling or bored or whatever, I sift through the file and see what’s there. I have about a dozen stories that I think would be good books. (I think most honest writers would admit to that, too, having a dozen ideas they want to work on.) Most of the ideas in my file will eventually be made.
If I start writing the few lines to flesh it out and I look up and see I’m 3000 words in and it’s 2 am, I might just have a story. Check the clock again and it’s four months later and the first draft is done.
Yep, it was a story all right.
Strike while the iron is hot is fine – as long as you’re disciplined enough to get back to what you were working on. Most writers aren’t. They’ll start 12 stories and finish none. That’s not the way to go. Other writers polish and rewrite one story forever – also bad.
There’s a happy medium.
Right now, I’m technically writing four stories at once. That can’t end well, but one will consume me for a while, engulfing my thoughts as I shower and run and mow the lawn and drive to work, and that one’s gotta get written. Somebody, somewhere, is dying to read it (okay, it’s me), and there are so many facets of the story piling up – like unanswered questions and subplots – I can’t keep putting them off!
So I’m writing about a Water Castle instead of something else. It’ll all work out. I don’t know how, but it always does.
Where do YOUR great ideas come from?
And HOW do you manage the process?
Got a QUESTION? ASK IT! Send it as a comment to any post or hit the Contact Me button and, you know, contact me. I’ll see what I can do. (I have lots of smart friends, too.)
FOLLOW ME! I’m this helpful and funny all the time. Probably. Don’t miss another valuable bauble that falls from my fingertips. You read this far; you may actually need this stuff. SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW TODAY (click the follow “Follow” button, above) and if you send me your email through the Contact Me button I’ll send you a free copy of my amazingly cute book “The Short Years” plus we’ll probably become friends and start hanging out and stuff.
If you benefit from this blog, share it with your friends!
Dan Alatorre is the author of several bestsellers and the hilarious upcoming novel “Poggibonsi” – yeah, we know. We’re trying to convince him to change that title – check out his other works here http://www.amazon.com/Dan-Alatorre/e/B00EUX7HEU/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1425128559&sr=1-1 and check back often for interesting stuff.