Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ideas Galore!

I need to shut off the ideas. I get frustrated when they pile up like my TBR stack. I have an idea file on the computer, but also jot them on napkins, in notebooks, and in my Blackberry. If an idea really grabs me, I’ll whip out a short synopsis or a rough draft of the first chapter. I have a lot of very rough first chapters. Frustration galore!

I wish I had learned early on to view my ideas as possible short stories. I just don't think that way, even though lately I'm having fun with flash fiction.

What do you do with your ideas? How do you hang on to them? How do you stay excited about them? I’m not going to ask where you get them—probably the same place I get mine. Newspapers, TV, eavesdropping and church.

I read in the August 25th issue of USA Today that “Budget cuts are forcing police around the country to stop responding to … .” Take a LOOK and see what you can do with it. Novel or short story? I have my idea. Uh oh, where did I stash it?


KarenG said...

I envy you. I'm not an ideas person. At least not for fiction. I guess that's why I veer more towards writing from life. I always wanted to be one of those writers who gets awesome plot ideas.

Jess said...

Hi Karen! My ideas aren't worth much if I don't do anything with them. Ninety-nine very rough first chapters will get me NO WHERE.
I think most of my ideas are 'from life.' Once my mom thought I'd put her in a novel, but it wasn't her at all. It was my mother-in-law.

Carole said...

You should write a book with 99 first chapter ideas. Writers would line up to get a peek.

I get my ideas in the same places you do but I have never developed a system of writing the ideas down so I haven't saved and don't remember them. No good.

Charles Gramlich said...

I tend to write a lot of them down in a file for later use too. STephen King said he didn't. He said he had a lot of ideas and what he found was that those which were truly worthy would hang around on their own. I'm not sure I could trust that thoguht.

sunnycalgirl said...

Hi Jess, I get inspiration from God and ideas from observing people and animals. I think in everyday life there is something to write about. Especially if you get to travel a lot. When I have a notebook with me I don't use it and when I don't that's when I need a piece of paper. I will use a napkin too..

Jess said...

Carole, what a fun idea! I've been looking for an idea for a compilation book. Maybe this is it. :)

Charles, my memory is such that if I didn't write them down they'd be gone forever. I lost several chapters of a novel once, along with all my research. I was devastated. An editor acquaintance said, "Don't worry, the good stuff will stay with you." Well, none of it stayed with me so I guess none of it was 'good stuff.'

SunnyCalGirl, when I do Beth Moore Bible studies and delve into the Bible, I'm bombarded with ideas. I have very little follow-thru though. I knew a guy who was a "Writing Machine." He actually made his living freelance writing. I wish I could be like that. Of course, he had no life. All he did was chase stories and interviews, then sit down and write them. :(