Saturday, January 4, 2014

The Value of An Ideas File

IndustrialTimesNewspaperThis week I have had it really brought home to me the real value of an Ideas file.

As a writer, ideas come to me at the oddest times. I can be browsing in a magazine or a newspaper and I will see something that sparks and idea or the germ of an idea that could be useful in some project in the future.

What to do with these ideas? I create files on my computer… any interesting articles that come to me through the web or other sources pertaining to the craft of writing, I save to a craft file and when the day comes that I need to refer to anything in this file, it have it at my fingertips.

The same with book ideas … I have a file labelled Ideas…. some of these are pages long…others are mere sentences… or interesting quotes … or something that tickles my sense of humour… a lot will never see the light of day … others will become what writers call … a light bulb moment.

I had such a moment this last week … yonks ago I wrote a 5000 words semi-synopsis of a plot idea for a book that has languished in my electronic bottom drawer ever since I wrote it.
The original idea came after I read a newspaper article on a gypsy fortune-teller… the story-smith in me thought that has a promising appeal … and then yesterday while working on the sequel to Lovers’ Lies that so many readers have asked for, provisionally titled Logan's Return … My heroine was relating some of her past to the hero and she happened to mention and how the event affected her twin brother … and I remembered that 5000 words piece … and I thought … yes…that is the ideal scenario for that piece and a whole new book has emerged … with one doozy of a conflict.

So now the characters in these stories look like having a third book in the series ... and readers love series... I know I am really partial to them.

Ideas are everywhere … and once you open you mind to them … the possibilities are endless.  To me this is the real jot of being a writer … taking the germ of an idea and creating a complete finished drama.   So any idea, no matter how nebulous saved to such a file may become the basis to the next best selling novel… if you save it.