Saturday, January 28, 2012
The Idea File
It's said that ideas are a dime a dozen. I disagree. No one's paying me for them, but my story ideas are gold to me. I treasure my idea file almost much as my novel drafts.
My idea file has a few forms. It includes three partly outlined novels, a few paragraph-length summaries, a line or two each in individual Word docs, one long list of story ideas, a few snippets, a paragraph here or there. A few years ago it had nothing. Then when I finally started writing a novel, I had more novel plots than I could write. Then a few years later, a wrote a picture book. Now, thanks to Tara Lazar's Picture Book Idea Month, I have a couple drafts and a lot more ideas.
Often I review my idea file before a walk or drive so I can turn a premise over in my mind, transforming an idea into a story. Almost everything in that file (well, except a couple make-weights from PiBoIdMo, if I'm honest) seems tantalizingly viable. I just need the time, skill, and creativity to do those ideas justice ... someday.
So a dime a dozen? No way. I insist on the traditional penny-per-thought rate. Unless you have a 20 percent off Groupon, and then a dime will do.
How do you keep track of your ideas? Are you a one-at-a-time writer, or do you have a vault full of SNIs?
And get your pitches ready -- New Mystery Agent contest beginning on Wednesday, February 1!
Need inspiration? Read the i swim for oceans interview with Operation Awesome's Angela J. Townsend, author of AMAROK, a unique, dark, thrilling paranormal coming soon from Spencer Hill Press.