Saturday, December 3, 2011

Story Ideas

My head swirls with them day in, day out. They are welcome companions though, like close friends, they can be a little overwhelming and hard to deal with. When a new one comes, I must scan it and map out the basics of it before polishing/adding to it again and again. And then, if I feel like it's complete and if I'm not too busy, I write it down on paper. And then it's a toss-up to see whether it sticks or whether it fails. Sometimes it even fails before I write it down, either being too insubstantial to stick or not enough to go on. Most of them, in fact, fail and many of those failures end up becoming future short stories.

It's an exhausting process but it's a part of being a writer and I don't know what I would do without it. My story ideas, those flashes, are what keep me up in gym class and in every day life. They are the glitter in my life and everything would be so much duller without it.

Coming up with story ideas, unlike story titles and character names, is an exhilarating and freeing process. It doesn't even feel like I'm coming up with it but it feels more as if I am discovering it. My characters come to me after random things and it's just so interesting to meet all about them.

The more I think about them, the more I feel that I know them. Coming up with a story idea is like fitting pieces of a puzzle together. I see scenes in the book I'm planning to write and then I find out about them. Sometimes I see random scenes that I think are different stories and I connect them later.

Lately, I'm in a bit of an overload right now. Most of them are short stories but they are still overwhelming all of the same. Now, since I've been delving into realistic fiction, most of them require research. Which will take even longer and make it even harder to write. Some of the research, especially historical research, seems a bit difficult but fortunately I have found a way to blend it into an actual story.

The worst part about coming up with a bunch of different story ideas is sorting them all out and writing them all at once. Often, I try to limit myself but I feel such an anticipation to write them. A new story idea is like hot food and it too cools down with time.

Coming up with the story ideas are half of what make writing so fun, though, so part of me wants to do it as often as I can. But then capturing them, putting them down on paper exactly as they're seen in my head... That's breathtaking.

What's so great about story ideas is that first month when I write that story idea. A story idea, of course, is best in the first month or so like any human relationship is. I have that jittery feeling writing it and it's great. Then, of course, I get used to it after a while and my relationship cools. Writing can be fun but it's just not the same. When I've been writing a novel for a while, I really yearn for that feeling and that's what makes it even harder to resist a story idea.

Ah, story ideas. They're that beautiful scent that I just breathe in, in, in.... They're that great, surreal thing that eat up my time and suck me into another story commitment.

Unfortunately, I have my hands full right now so I will finish some of the projects I have right now. No matter what, I must resist their call at least for the moment.

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