Sometimes, my mind will brainstorm story ideas off and on during the day – daydreaming. I usually try to explore “what ifs” and come up with an amazing and unique synopsis that interests me and is sure to make everyone want to buy my future book. So that’s, what, a delusion of grandeur? Or a dream of glory?
Something changed recently though. Instead of just ideas, I started getting scenes in my head. An overall plot started to come together in my little brain, so I just went with it. A setting, a time, and people formed into a little world. And different scenarios played out in my imagination, like watching the story unfold in my mind’s eye.
I began to think of names that fit each person and jotted them down in a note. I pondered some of their individual traits while considering what their character might be. There were family members, friends, co-workers, adults, kids, and love interests. Some died. Some got sick. Many traveled.
Then I decided to practice writing one of the scenes I had imagined. It’s one of the early parts in my story idea. I tried to set the scene, describe actions and feelings, and introduce a character. I’m happy with how it turned out, yet I already want to rewrite it, expand, and edit. It was fun practice. But it also helped me see how challenging the story writing process is. It’s art and science – a craft.
Writing a story is no small undertaking. It’s a big investment of your time and mental energy. I read somewhere that you end up living in your story world by necessity. That makes more sense now since I got a taste of it. To me that feels daunting but also intriguing. Imagine being able to escape into a fabricated universe that you create in your mind. And although it’s fiction, it works, playing out in compelling fashion.
After those story scenes fleshed themselves out in my mind, I shelved them because I decided they weren’t to my liking. Instead, I started to come up with new ideas. I got some external inspiration and worked my creative muscles to pull some different elements together, and a bonafide story idea started to cement itself. I was excited!
There were many details emerging, like the story was starting to come alive in my brain. The usual peppering of questions arose, and answers quickly filled the blanks. I concocted a super-villain with a motive and backstory. This story idea is promising, and I’m glad to pursue it. With crazy luck, who knows, I might be able to develop it enough to take a stab at NaNoWriMo this year!
I didn’t think this current fling of fiction fun would go far. But I am enjoying it and, I think, reaping some knowledge and experience in practicing. I’m exercising my story-telling muscles while seeing if I really have any.
To fuel this literary escapade, I find websites that talk about the writing process and how to create good fiction. Most of all, I keep reading fiction. Whatever inspiration I can find, my hands grasp it like a glass of wine. I drink every last drop.
Most of all, to fuel the fiction fire, I read more fiction. I once read a famous writer who said that to write, you should read. That works for me; who doesn’t like reading?
Have you got a story to tell?