I like to keep a file or doc for ideas–blog ideas, book ideas, short story ideas–but today’s post comes from one I’d posted on another blog a couple of years ago. I’m revamping it a little to suit today’s needs, and I do apologize for the lateness of today’s post. I’ve been kind of busy stuck in editing Hell all . . . well, for the past week or so. I have yet to escape. This is but a small reprieve.
In dreams . . .
Ideas for stories, whether short or novel-length, can come from practically anywhere for me. Life around me is what usually inspires . . . a quote, a picture, something overheard at the cafe, the sky and its multitude of stars, especially right at dusk, a drive through barren desert, or the look in my Moon’s eyes, whom I miss very much. Her eyes held an ancient wisdom at times.
I’ve never claimed to have a muse, and my friends know how much I despise the term, but if I had to say I had one, I’d say it’s my vampire Shawn. When he’s not talking, no other characters will talk. The issue is that when he is talking, he tends to talk over the others.
Sometimes, I dream part of a story, or I dream about one of the characters. I include daydreams in that because I have a hyperactive imagination and it’s like constantly watching a movie in my head. Ideas come fast and hit me hard, usually in dialog(ue), and if I don’t write them down somewhere, they’re lost forever because I certainly won’t remember them again with my horrible memory, unless something specific triggers it. That’s happened very rarely. I’m thankful my phone has a memo pad. I just have to remember that it does.
Once, about 10 years ago, I had a nightmare. When I woke up, I grabbed my beautiful Italian leather journal and wrote him down. Him is one I call Daemon, and he scared the ever-living hell out of me. It took 10 years to get past him enough to use him in a story. He is an evil bastard and he always will be . . . and he still scares the ever-living hell out of me.
Sometimes I hate my dreams. Usually I’m being chased by zombies. Apparently, I need to write a zombie book (which I am), but I don’t think I could top The Forest of Hands and Teeth.
About dialog . . . or dialogue . . .
Dialog is always the first thing I hear. Yes, I hear it. Some random new character will start monologuing as soon as my head hits the pillow. It’s happened . . . several times. It’s also annoying as hell. The clearest one I’ve ever heard was Ezriel. He’s my seraphim vamp. Yep, you read that correctly. He started talking to me somewhere around 2004/2005 and I still don’t know his full story. He’s a bit shy about why/how he became a vamp. And I haven’t felt the need to pressure him just yet, but soon, he’ll have to talk. *contemplates chains*
For me, dialog is one of my strengths. I’d just like to get better at the initial detail, and I think I’m getting there. If you ever read one of my first drafts, you’ll see mostly dialog and very little detail. Although, I am getting better at it, since some of the newest stories have more detail weaving its way into the first drafts. *happy*
The idea doc . . .
It’s like an outline for me. I may loathe outlining novels, but I outline the rest of my life. Kind of sad, I know. I’m a control freak. Maybe that’s why I can’t outline the stories. I need that freedom somewhere. I think it has to do with my fading memory, though. In my mind, I’ll walk through the steps of my day the night before if I have important things to do. Of course, that’s me trying to control everything around me, and if I’ve learned anything at all in life, it’s that I can’t control the motions set in place that will fuck up my world entirely.
But I still try to control them. It’s my fatal flaw, I guess. You know every hero/heroine needs a fatal flaw, right? *winks*
One of these days, maybe I’ll figure out how to control Shawn . . . oh, never mind. That will NEVER happen.