Since I write so many short stories, I'm frequently asked where the ideas come from. It's like magic!
Honestly, I do have the boing?!!! moments, and the story just about writes itself. One time, I looked at Handsome's ties and went boing!!! But that doesn't happen often.
Sometimes, I sit my butt in the chair, and say, "I'm going to write about blank." That's hard work.
I have had stories develop from journaling. I don't really journal in a memoir style. I open the doc labeled journal, type in the date, and let loose. Usually, a good rant and rave. (I'd advise Handsome not to read this.)
I have written stories based on an essay. In particular, I might have an incident I want to memorialize. I'll write the whole thing in a storytelling style, and occasionally, revisit the story to see what I've done.
This is how I came up with the idea for "Taking Flight," my short fiction piece based on fact, for the MuseIt Up Publishing's cancer anthology, Lavender Dreams. A year prior to a very dear friend's passing from cancer, we had experienced something momentous in our Jazzercise class, and I felt compelled to remember the event in the method as described above.
I'm not a plotter; mostly, a pantser. I have an idea (or a boing!!! moment), and take off from there. And I have an idea of how the story will end (after all, romance is a happily ever after). Then I layer and layer. I like Liz's term Plotter + Pantster = Plotster.
Denying the true aha! flashes would be denying pure creativity, in my opinion. For example, if I'm writing along, and a word appears in my head, that word is almost certain to be better than the one on the paper. I make the change. Or I might be doing something, and I hear a piece of dialogue. I scribble on whatever is handy, and insert the lines in my work. Those are better too.
Does creativity come knocking on your head? What do you do when it does? Do you listen?
Here's a tiny excerpt from "Taking Flight," my short story feature in MuseIt Up Publishing's cancer anthology, Lavender Dreams:
Charley tilted her head. “Oh my God. Look at the butterflies.”
This definitely wasn’t ordinary. Forgetting about class, we raced to the door, only to be stunned by what we saw when we got there. There were hundreds, thousands, maybe even a bazillion, orange and black butterflies.
The monarchs were migrating.
In my lifetime, I’d only heard about their migration; I hadn’t seen it anywhere.
Simultaneously, Charley and I shared a “Wow.”
This was no ordinary thing.
Something compelled me to venture outside and truly experience what was happening there. To see where they traveled, what they’d do, to just watch.
I grabbed Charley's hand and whispered, "Let's go."
Vicki Batman is kicking back and letting the words flow on a new short story. Find her at: http://plottingprincesses.blogspot.com Or at: http://vickibatman.blogspot.com. Lavender Dreams is available at: http://museituppublishing.com