Monday, 26 August 2013

Postbox in Schenectady

By United States Postal Service (Wikipedia:Contact us/Photo submission) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
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.

A good writer should have some mad research skillz.  Go off and find something obscure.  Obscurity will not mean the story will be any less fascinating. In fact you may find it far more interesting, because you won’t have to compete against all the other writers’ interpretations.  Nothing sucks worse than discovering someone has already done your brilliant idea, and did it better.
By day, Her Grace beats her head against an office cubicle wall.  By night she pinches ideas from the pockets of unsuspecting muses and discards them at random.  Occasionally they make it into stories or Relief Society lessons.

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