I love the random. It inspires me. I won't sugarcoat it: I'm the kind of writer who only works creatively when inspiration hits. This mostly means that I write in fast manic bursts only a couple of times a year, while the rest of the time I sit around and stare at my computer or my little Moleskin notebook, just trying to come up with something worth saying. I bide my time writing non-creatively to keep the muscles loose, the brain functioning. Sometimes it's not better than writing nothing at all; sometimes how much I have to write "for work" exhausts me to the point of delaying those periods of creative mania. Sometimes I want inspiration to come at a specific time-- usually write after I've completed a project but have no sense of where it will go or what I'll do next and I want to hold onto that feeling of accomplishment. It's the only real rush I've ever known.
Having finished my pilot script but without pitch meetings lined up just year, I am finding myself in one of those funks. So I'm seeking out new and random things to write about daily-- or as daily as I can manage with season finales and upfronts just around the corner. It's not the first time I've done this, but as you've probably noticed, it's also something I do in little manic bursts. The first one this time around comes from Writer's Digest:
Five Ideas For a Novel You'll Never Write
Well, first of all, I like the challenge inherent in the topic. Why are these novels I'll never write? I'd like to say that just the fact that the topic is mocking me is reason enough to be inspired to sit down and flesh the ideas out as full stories. But in all honesty, there are reasons ideas stay just that. Sometimes it's because it's too small to carry an entire story and often instead gets filed away as an anecdote for another one down the line. That happened most recently when I thought it might be fun to create a workplace comedy about a bunch of bloggers only to realize it was kind of a narrow scope. So I dropped a blogger character in my pilot to enrich that world but still get to shine a light on some things in which I had a vested interest. So maybe that's where these ideas will end up. Or maybe when this little experiment is all over, more ideas will come to me-- ones around one of these characters or loglines or plot points, and I'll be able to write the novel for real. Or maybe they'll inspire someone else. Who knows. But it's a start...
5. A girl applying to college learns she was adopted. Instead of using the experience as a personal essay moment, she decides to run away in the middle of the night, taking a bus almost across the country, trying to build a brand new life though her old one had barely started anyway. Full disclosure: this is based on a short story I wrote for a high school creative writing class.
4. The events and experiences of a young woman's life as told through her emails to a deceased loved one. I always imagined this would be a really biased account of how things happened, and you'd get great insight to how messed up she may be about a lot of things based on the way she tells stories, assuming her version makes her look good, when...not so much. At some point, though, the email would have to bounce back as the account was canceled on account of the death, and I never knew how to continue the story then.
3. A young adult novel based on my own experiences at Summer Discovery, where teenagers get their first taste of freedom in a big city for the summer, making new friends, falling in love, finding their purpose, etc. It's told from multiple narrators and could potentially end up a small series.
2. A children's book (series) about an adorable little puppy named Madison who "solves the case of the Missing X" in each picture book. Not necessarily a novel, but...
1. A young woman fears she has cancer and decides to finally take some risks with her life. She quits her job, gives her boyfriend an ultimatum, packs a suitcase, and moves to the middle of nowhere, where she promptly strikes up an unlikely flirtation with her seemingly backwoods neighbor with secrets of his own.