"Where do you get ideas?"
"What provides you with inspiration?"
"Hasn't every story already been told?"
Regardless of how the questions come, people want to know how to create something out of nothing. While every writer is different, they are all observers. They all ask, "What if?" However, this thin air creationism is not limited to writers. Women are almost universally novelists. Ask a woman why it's so troubling when her husband doesn't call if he's going to be late and, if she's honest, she will tell you a story. A long, drawn out story that extends with every minute that passes. Fifteen minutes equals an accident. Thirty minutes means a fatal accident. Forty-five minutes means planning a funeral and trying to decide how you are going to survive on life-insurance and one income. After an hour, you are figuring out how to move on.
At which point your husband shows up and can't understand why you are so upset.
Novelists do the same thing. We simply take one small idea and blow it out of proportion. Way out of proportion. It would be nice if we could limit this "mountain out of a mole-hill" ability to fiction, but it doesn't seem to work that way. The nice thing is my husband now fully understands why it's important to call me if he's going to be late.
Until next time,
I play the "what if" game all the time and have lots of ideas. My problem is actually sitting down to write it all out. That's what amazes me about authors - that they actually turn all those what ifs into a written story.ReplyDelete
I've kept journals of ideas for years. It's fun to pull them out now (many of them hand-written because there weren't personal computers back when I started writing them down) to see if any of those "what if" starters are still usable. I didn't think I'd ever actually get published; I was writing them down because some of the ideas wouldn't let me sleep until I did.Delete