Friday, October 7, 2011

A million ideas - Too little time

A well known author once remarked how when anyone discovered she was an author, they seemed to feel compelled to share their ideas for a book they wanted her to write. As if she didn't have any ideas of her own!

As a writer, even when I occassionally experience the dreaded writer's block, it's never from lack of ideas.  More than likely, it's rather from having too many -- like shadows milling just beyond my reach. If I lived several lifetimes, it wouldn't be long enough to write all the stories I have reeling through my mind.

If you enter my workspace there are notes upon notes, a word written here or there, titles, characters' names, and concepts posted on white boards. Sticky notes are everywhere and ideas noted in my phone, on my computer, or in my wallet. Ideas spill from my head like water from a waterfall -- sometimes a trickle -- often more like Niagra's flow. It's the ability to pick through them, gather what I need, organize them, and come out with some semblance of a story, after piecing the ideas together, that makes me a writer.

Writing is the ability to know which ideas to keep, put together in a certain order, and which ones to toss. Finally, an author shows the picture that's been in his/her head to the reader in words. SHOWING the story in actions or dialogue from the point of view character with the most at stake brings the reader into the story and intensifies the reading experience.

And if a picture's worth a thousand words then use them for inspiration.  Here's a picture. What's the story?


  1. I know what you mean! I never have a lack of ideas -- figuring out what to do with them, however, is the challenge. Great post, Eliza!


  2. Thanks Helen! Yeah, sorting through my mind is like entering a horder's home. LOL