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One would like to think these are contracts, not returned mss.
Sometimes I actively go looking for story ideas. When I do, I do not latch on to the first thing that pops into my head. Nor the second, or even the third.
When I brainstorm, I’ll write down all ideas as they come to me. Then I ditch the first handful that came in. (Stop pulling out your hair! Ideas are dime-a-dozen. You can have my discards if it bothers you so much.)
Why on earth would I do that?
Because those first few ideas were the most obvious. I don’t wanna write the obvious. I want to explore the obscure, the hidden, the new. Road less traveled. Forgotten country.
Essentially, I wanna make people consider something they might not have thought of before. If I choose to write a fairy-tale retelling, you can bet your sweet britches I will steer far clear of Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast. Overtold, overdone. Go find something better.