For one hundred days, I’m going to post a writing tip each day. I have a whole bookshelf full of writing books and I want to do some reading and increased studying of this valuable resource. This will help me keep track of anything I’ve learned, and help motivate me to keep going. If anyone has a favorite tip of their own to add, contact me. I’d love to put it up here.
Today’s tip – Recognize Them When They Show Up
Let’s get one thing clear right now, shall we? There is no Idea Dump, no Story Central, no Island of the Buried Bestsellers; good story ideas seem to come quite literally from nowhere, sailing at you right out of the empty sky: two previously unrelated ideas come together and make something new under the sun. Your job isn’t to find these ideas but to recognize them when they show up.
Let me tell you how story ideas feel to me.
Where they come from, I have no idea. When they will come, I can’t predict. Why they come, I can’t explain – but come they do.
They feel like a serious itch – or like a stone in my shoe. Something that I, no matter how hard I try, can’t get out of the forefront of my mind. I really can’t think of anything else.
Until I write them out – write them away. Then and only then will they leave me alone and I can get on with my life. It’s a need, an addiction – graphomania, if you will.
Everyone has addictions – the question is if you can live with your addiction or even control it and make it work for you. I think that for me, for my graphomania, I can work it out.