Did you ever “write” a story in your head? I often come up with an idea shortly before I fall asleep or while I’m walking somewhere. Sometimes these inspirations produce my best stories. I manage to put it down on paper or, better yet, plant the idea like a seed and grow a story around it—one that goes in directions I didn’t anticipate. I’ve gotten novellas and even entire novel length works of fiction from that kind of golden kernel.
But there are many other instances where the story idea evaporates or simply turns out to be less than worthy of the effort needed to make the transition from my head to the page (electronic or otherwise). I keep paper & pens by my bed and always carry a notebook, but there’s a strange leap of faith that has to occur, before the story travels from its point of origin.
Am I too lazy to turn the light on and scribble? Maybe. Is it simply too weird to stop mid-way to an appointment, find someplace to sit and jot down the idea? Yeah, sometimes…what about dictating a reminder, sending myself a text, or leaving a voicemail on my old & reliable landline? I’ve done ‘em all at one time or another in a quest to hang on to that elusive confidence, the feeling that this is THE NEXT GREAT IDEA, even when I know that if it is truly great, I won’t lose it like a glove as I head down into the subway station.
I’ve been feeling a little scattered lately. Working on the first draft of a new Candy’s Monsters novella, slowly producing stories for a mini collection, and pondering next versions of novels-long-in-progress… Perhaps some of these sudden ideas are diversions, little detours that complicate my path to getting things done? Most of them probably are, but…there’s always the potential for fiction’s unicorn. So even if most of the little stray ideas were better in my head, there might be one…