Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Idea's the Thing

While racking my noggin for today's topic, I reviewed current and upcoming posts on TWV, something I always do to make sure I'm not repeating what has been discussed ad nauseam and to try to stay within the tone of the the rest of the group (I've not always accomplished this, but I do at least make an effort).  

Anyway, as I perused posts, I was struck by Mike Davis' (published on July 11) review of all the
work that goes on behind the glossy (and at times tawdry) covers of the completed book. It was interesting and informative, and, even better for me, got me thinking about the whole process from conception to delivery, to borrow a totally unoriginal metaphor (so unoriginal, I'm pretty sure I've used it myself in my own blog). 

So, I thought I'd discuss the conception of the idea, which as all writers know, is the hardest part: how to come up with something mind blowing, wonderful, quixotic, and never been done before. What, your mind doesn't come up with such wonders? Sad to say, mine doesn't either. Normally, I come up with an idea for a story, that either gets changed so many times it no longer resembles the original, or I get so bored with the whole thing, I tear it up into a million pieces (usually only figuratively not literally since all my work is on my laptop and I'm way too cheap to print a manuscript merely to tear it up). I don't think I'm unusual in this, the other writers I know well enough to have such discussions, seem to have the same experiences. 

Sometimes, though, a writer pulls it off, and creates magic. The other day I watched the movie Stranger Than Fiction (yes, I realize it's been out since 2006, I just didn't get around to seeing it until now. Writer Zach Helm did what I yearn to do, write a completely unique story without relying on
special effects, martians taking over the planet, gratuitous sex or violence. He wrote a simple, quiet, complex plot and I loved it. When the movie ended, I wondered if I could create such a wonderful thing and, the sad answer was (and is) I'm not sure it's in me. 

Still, hopes springs eternal and all that, so keep my mind open to new ideas, new thoughts, new experiences and maybe someday, I too will catch lightning in a bottle. 

And since developing the idea truly is the hardest part of writing, I've added a link to Coldplay's "The Hardest Part" just because I want to. Be warned that there's an interesting couple performing, so prepare yourself even if it involves an octogenarian and a guy in a speedo. Don't worry it's PG.  Coldplay The Hardest Part

Oh, and frightening as it seems, it looks as if one of the women introducing the performers is wearing shoulder pads. Yikes, I thought we'd shed those horrid things a decade or so ago. Please don't tell me they're coming back. 

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Julie Eberhart Painter said...

THAT was quite a dance. Readers, if you skipped Coldplay video, you missed it!

As to your thoughts about writing, I'm with you.

Big Mike said...

Funny how an ideal you dreamed up three years ago can twist and turn until the final child appear nothing like the original parent concept.

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

Gabriella Austen said...

Mike, I agree about ideas evolving. It's an interesting process, I just wish it didn't take so much time for the damn thing to morph into something saleable.