Sunday, February 27, 2011

Genesis Of An Idea

Those of us who write will oftentimes speak of have writer's block. In my humble opinion, that terrorizing mental shutdown can come in a couple of different forms. I myself have never suffered from a complete inability to come up with an idea or get something, anything down on paper. For me it is, more often than not, an inability to properly get my ideas to read the way they look and sound in my head.

As for coming up with ideas, that is a process that just seems to come very easily. I will give you 2 examples of ideas that came, in different ways, over the last few days. On Friday we were at our local bar, a place we have been a bunch of times, but on this occasion we were seated in a different spot. That particular seat meant that we were facing a side wall, entirely comprised of old bricks, some of which were very badly charred. It got me thinking whether or not the bricks were manufactured that way or were they old ones taken from a destroyed property. I chose to go with the second option and my head was off to the races.....nice little story brewing there.

The second idea came from a session of stumbling (if some of you haven't yet experienced stumbleupon, you really have to try it) where I came a cross pictures of an old French town in Cambodia called Bokor Hill Station. I have had a vague idea about a story situated in an abandoned town (Chernobyl was my first thought) knocking around in my head for a while, but the sight of this place started filling in the details somewhat. Check out this creepy pic.....
Now comes that hard part, where those ideas have to become stories, written in a way that I think would be palatable to myself and the few folks who read them. No block here, usually just frustration and a constant self question of my writing (in)ability.


Jeffrey Miller said...

I know exactly what you mean. When I started writing War Remains, I envisioned the novel as a movie and wrote it that way, which at times, seemed easy while at other times, when I was dealing with flashbacks, a little more challenging.

I am always thinking through ideas in my head, working out plot and story lines. These mental calisthenics help me work out ideas before I even begin to write.

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