Story ideas stampede through my mind at an alarming rate. During the day, I hardly notice because they run by as I am doing things with my brain like shopping or reading. Come the night and I am at the mercy of an overactive imagination. As I recover from a cold, taking prescribed decongestants, I lay in bed for what seems a long time before the real dreams begin. And if I wake up in the night, as I almost always do, I wrestle my brain back to sleep.
Often I go through stories that I started on but became discouraged about or had to put aside for other obligations. I figure out what exactly happened on the industrial planet where a corporation is taking advantage of the lack of plants and animals to strip mine a continent or two. Why the illegitimate son of the company founder is fighting to bring the planet back to life. I have one of my best sex scenes in the first draft but the world needs more depth and more layers. No pun intended.
And because I hope to get back to that story someday, that’s not really a waste of time. Then I hazily see a vast tract of land, a lone house in the middle of nowhere, a woman who doesn’t belong there driving up in an SUV to look over her inheritance, and the man who has worked the land for her deceased uncle hoping to buy the place whole from her at a respectable price. In the midst of trying to decide if this is Wyoming, Montana, or North Dakota, a cold snap sends the workmen out to bring in the herds of – horses? Cattle? Not sheep, certainly. Bison? Now there’s a thought. And I drift off to sleep seeing them riding into the hills. Of course, the new owner wants to ride along. She can ride with an English saddle and is sure she can adapt to the Western one.
I love paranormal stories, romances that have an edge as one or the other main character strives to hide their true identity. My jaguar shifters are also on a back burner, but I think I need to cut at least half of the first chapter and start where they meet in the ocean around Florida. Another scene I have been given positive feedback for and a better hook than the bar scene where the hero’s adopted brothers give him a bad time about not hooking up with any of the women in the little town. I probably need to write a hurricane into that one. The gears are whirling and I am not sleeping.
I’ve tried several methods of recording these ideas so that I can get back to them at the right time. I gave each a working title, on 3×5 cards, wrote down MCs and basic plot points, and filed them in a plastic box. It’s around here somewhere. I think there are six stories in there.
I have a computer file where I write down the ideas using the same information as on the cards. I have a journal with a section devoted to story ideas. I have plastic pocket folders labeled with story titles and scraps of paper stuffed inside with the ideas that belong to the title. They are in pretty colors and every bit as useful as the other above items. The flaw is the “wetware” or the person who should be writing at a furious rate and getting these ideas into story form and then published, one way or another.
I continue to look at ways to write efficiently and steady so that I accomplish more in the hours I have. I suppose the first step is to get over the cold and avoid the flu so that I can keep to my schedule. And I believe I need to join a critique group locally and to enter more contests. Feedback of any type will certainly be of use.
Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Thursday.