Sunday, June 30, 2013

Pop! Goes The Ideas...

With evil intent, my cat, Dobby, lurking in the shadows,
thinking he's invisible, but foiled by this traitorous shadow...

Like my cat, lurking like a sinister element, intent to do me harm for no apparent reason other than being evil—or being a cat, ideas pounce on me unawares.

I could be anywhere, doing anything, at any time—and I get hit by a plot, an opening sentence (I have many of those, some written in notes, some still lodged in my brain) or a dialogue exchange. Even while reading a book, I get assaulted rudely with a new plot and I end up having to re-read the page again. So annoying.

Lately, most of my thought bubbles are opening lines to prospective books to write. I’ve no idea what the story will be about, but it’s like those assignments you get at school for essay writing, where you get the first prompt line and go from there. I get a thrill of excitement, thinking how to proceed, or where the story could go. Half the time they just fizzle and burn, dying a natural, un-creative death...

I have so many opening lines that are jockeying for my attention, saying “pick me, pick me” and it has my brain going haywire with ideas and possibilities. One in particular is just about screaming at me. I wrote it down, embellished a little, and for the first time, I have no plot outline and I’m simply writing by the seat of my pants. It’s a first for me. I have no idea where the tale is going to take me…but have a look at the opening lines, just dialogue.

“You got that right. This tech is pretty ancient.”
“No. I mean really. Dinosaur.”

I got this while watching TV, and I can’t even remember what I was watching. Only that I saw something old, and thought how easily it can be misinterpreted if someone were to comment on the fact it was a ‘dinosaur.’ But then I thought, what if it really WAS a dinosaur…what are the chances of that, and what a story that would make!

So what about you? Do your ideas hit you up like an assassin’s bullet? How do you sort through all those legions of ideas, begging for your attention? I’d love to know.



Rhobin Lee Courtright said...

Yes, they do, not so much as first lines, but as controlling ideas and insistent characters telling me to get busy.

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

Titles hit me, but first lines impress me. One of the best I've ever heard was for Rebecca, "The last Camel died at noon."

It's so orienting, even to time ... just brilliant.

TKToppin said...

Julie, that's a great line! And Rhobin, I'm know what you mean about those controlling ideas and characters... Thanks for stopping by!

Big Mike said...

Me too. Gotten them a lot waiting for my wife in the parking lot on mall. Even in dreams. My muse never stops.

Michael Davis (
Author of the Year (2008 and 2009)
Award of Excellence (2012)

T. M. Hunter said...

Being a cat *or* being evil? I thought those two were synonymous... :-D

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