I carry a notebook on me at all times. Hell, I usually carry more than one. I have two in my purse, one in my school bag dedicated only to snippets of ideas and stories, and one by my computer, along with my word count journal (13,508 last week, including these blog posts, which I have decided are work). If you don't do this, you need to. Yesterday I was hanging out at Borders at our weekly get together (I write, my fiancé draws, and our friend who plays saxophone plays in the cafe for tips) and took a look at just a few ideas that I had written down, rather haphazardly. The name, Latricera, which I had created while playing with words, another thing you really have to do if you're going to be a writer, the phrase "for the sake of having something tangible", "parts of the house/ship losing power", and "speakeasies". Looking at all of the ideas together, I saw a mess of random parts, interesting in of themselves, but is there a story there? This is what I came up with:
The ship Latricera. Far in the future, the ship gives the reality at all times, like a permanent holodeck. To escape this escapism, some members of the crew turn to drugs and alcohol (hidden on the ship), just for the sake of having something real, tangible, even if it is just the way they feel or think. Then parts of the ship start losing power, and the crew realizes how much they need the lies the ship provides for them.
Not a perfect idea, also not a fully formed one, but while doing a little bit of free writing today I came up with the captain of the ship, Not Adlay, and the idea of the illusionary aspects of the ship being either real or false, depending on if you think that our drug-addled captain is a reliable narrator or not - especially because no one else on the ship ends up seeing what she sees. Again, I still have to tweak it, but I really think I have a workable story here, and one that I never would have come up with if I hadn't had a notebook handy to write such brief sketches of ideas. I'm already swamped under other projects, but this one (tentatively titled Woe
of the Latricera, or Escape Aboard the Latricera - which my fiancé thinks makes it sound like a star trek episode) is definitely something I will come back to in the future. And that makes me feel GREAT! Creating, even if it's just putting together already formed scraps and bits and pieces to make a literary Frankenstein, is such a wonder that I hope I will never run out of ideas. That's the best part, far beyond writing it, far beyond watching the story unfold under your fingertips, is watching it grow from nothing into something. It's enough to make me wish that I didn't have anything going on right now, so I could start taking pages and pages of notes, in preparation for writing it.
So, how do you come up with ideas? Where do the stories come from? This is my general method of finding a story, what's yours? It's great to be back, I had a very productive weekend, tell me about yours! Hope everyone is safe out there, see you tomorrow.