Confession #5: I have more ideas than I’ll ever be able to write.
Seriously, though, I’m not even sure where most of my ideas come from. I’ve mentioned this before, but often ideas (or solutions to plot problems) just pop into my head while I’m in the shower. Or maybe I’ll see some random person at the mall or the playground or wherever and *poof* I’ll have a new character with a backstory and goals and conflicts.
While watching the Oscars this year (and admittedly feeling tired in general and very bored with the whole awards/skit thing), my next Great Big Idea appeared. The idea took my obsession with physics (you know how I love black holes and the Large Hadron Collider) and gave it a character. There isn’t quite a fleshed out plot yet, but the character is very clear to me now. Before this moment (literally a very brief moment…no idea one minute, a great idea the next) I only had an intellectual interest in something, and now I have a real, solid character.
Not all my ideas are great either. Some pop into my head and fade away. Some I might think about for awhile and eventually jot down or even work on fleshing out a bit, but they don’t really come together. One of the reasons I don’t like to write my ideas on paper when they first come to me is because I have so many ideas. I know the ones that stay with me, the ones I can’t stop thinking about, are the ones that are good fodder for a story.
I’m not really sure exactly what parts need to come together to make this magic happen. I’ve always been a creative thinker, so part of it may just be my mind is always working in the background, synthesizing input and my thoughts while I’m doing other things. Part of it, too, is because I’m open to new ideas because it’s those Shiny New Ideas are what keep me excited about writing.
Writing a first draft of a novel is tough, revising a novel is tough, editing a novel is tough…the ideas are the fun part…they’re the things that give me the rush of adrenaline, that make me push through a tough middle when drafting, a tough scene when revising, or line edits (which are just plain boring).
So I’m afraid I can’t share what makes me a creative person or where my ideas come from…because I really have no idea. But there are people who know about creativity, who study it. The good news is recent research indicates you can train your brain to be more creative. I’m not sure I’ll be partaking in any of those exercises, though. I just don’t think my brain can handle any more Big Ideas right now!
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