I can’t imagine other authors go to bed and when their head hits the pillow, they suddenly think of something they could do to make that story they wrote six months prior better. Yet, this happens to me all the time. Talk about random. Maybe I’m not alone in this.
There’s this superhero thing I wrote a long time ago. I revisited it earlier this year, made a few changes, but still didn’t feel like it was ready. Needed something. I moved on. Just a couple of nights ago, I lay down to go to sleep and WHAM! Idea hits me.
At this point, you have a decision to make. Get up and write the idea down, or try to go to sleep and hope the idea is still there when you wake. I almost always choose the former. I mean, there have been times when I have had a great idea at a time or moment where I can’t break away to write it down. Like a three hour training meeting, or when I’m commuting to or from work. These are the times when you have to pay attention to other things and hope you will remember whatever it is once you’re back at your computer. I will admit to using my iPhone’s Voice Memo when driving to record the idea. 🙂
But, and this is my point, I have lost ideas due to bad timing. Meetings are a good example. You’re in a meeting, or, worse, you are the organizer of the meeting, and a random thought flashes through your mind, a tantalizing idea you would love to jump on right then and there (SUPER INTELLIGENT TIME TRAVELING DINOSAUR NINJA PIRATES!), but you can’t. Way to go, brain. Thanks for working with me. So you go about your business, you finish the meeting, and when you are alone again, you take out a sheet of paper or open an email to yourself and…it’s gone. SUCH AN AWESOME IDEA! IT CAN’T BE GONE!
You start wracking your brain. Okay, you were talking about…what? And then someone said…? OH COME ON! STUPID BRAIN!
I’d be curious to know how other authors deal with this sort of thing. I actually keep a simple text document called ‘Story Ideas and Elements’. If something cool pops into my head, that isn’t about a current WIP, I add it to this document. Even names of people, places or things that sound cool.
- Name: Ibsa
- Thing: Megalethoscope
- Thing: Ossuary
- Group: The Culper Ring
Whether anything comes of these things, I don’t know. But I tell myself yes, I will write that story…