Thursday, July 21, 2011

An Abundance of Ideas

"Story Road"
by umjanedoan via Flickr
I can't speak for every writer I know, but I think it's so funny whenever I hear the question, "Where do you get your ideas?"

Shirley Jackson somehow had the idea for The Lottery while she was driving to the grocery store. I'm not sure how to take that. Driving to a large warehouse full of angry people pushing broken carts between aisles under flickering florescent lights that make everything (and everyone) look green; stoning your neighbors to ensure a healthy harvest. I do see a connection, but the connection is more disturbing than the actual short story.

I have to admit that one thing I share with Ms. Jackson is the idea that some of the best stories come out of the boring stuff that people who aren't neurotic like us authors wouldn't even notice or think to turn into stories. One idea for a novel came to me because a teenager turned up on my doorstep--I'm serious. Now, that was out of the ordinary, so I probably shouldn't count that. However, a few days after that incident, I was sitting around working on cryptograms and got another story idea. Today, a friend of mine said something that triggered a memory from high school and that inspired yet another idea. If only I could find the time to write books as fast as these ideas pop into my head.

That reminds me: isn't it ridiculously frustrating that you can read a book in a weekend, but you can't write a book in a weekend? I hate that!