Sorry about the delay, I’ve been having computer trouble.
So, you’ve been either actively trying for ideas, or have had a few pop up unexpectedly. Go you! Now, which do you actually pursue?
First, write all your ideas down. Preferably someplace that won’t be lost and that you’ll look at again. I don’t care how memorable you think that idea is, write it down. Or type it up, it doesn’t matter. The annuls of literature are full of works lost because the idea was forgotten. Besides, even if you decide not to pursue an idea right away, it might be viable for later.
Some time ago, mostly by accident, I ended up with inspiration for two very different stories in course of a few days. Both were sparked by conversation with family members. The first idea came up when I was reading a writing book called ‘Writing the Paranormal Novel’, which I highly recommend. Reading the section on vampires, it suggested adding some variety to the old cliches, including different occupations. I distinctly remember it bringing up the idea of a vampire accountant. I read the part to my brother and we brainstormed a little. He suggested a vampire surfer. I argued that vampires traditionally do very poorly with water, and salt is a universal deterrent against things that go bump in the night. Then suddenly, I had a plot. A rising star in the competitive surfer world is infected and can no longer surf. His inability to give up his dream leads for him and his friends to uncover two separate conspiracies. I’d give more details, but the book isn’t finished yet.
A day or two later, I was eating out with my mom and sister. My sister was reading fanfiction on her phone and was reading a Transformers/How to Train your Dragon crossover. I haven’t read it myself, but I believe that the dragons were actually transformers that changed into cars. I said, somewhat sarcastically, that I thought they changed into motorcycles. Bam, plot. A ‘How to Train your Dragon’ AU (Alternate Universe, for those not into fanfiction), where they are a biker gang, either motorcycles or motorbikes. Hiccup wants to join, but is considered too much of a geek. Maybe his dad says no, too. Anyway, Hiccup might not be athletic, but he has an intuitive understanding of machinery. He finds a broken Night Fury bike, probably in a junk yard, and fixes it up. Maybe the gears are stripped so he calls it Toothless. C’mon, ‘Night Fury’ would be an awesome name for a bike.
Two premises come up with rather suddenly. One I am pursuing, the other, I probably never will. Why? A number of reasons.
Interest: The vampire surfer one interests me in a way the dragon bike doesn’t. My favorite part of ‘How to Train your Dragon’ is the dragons. I have no interest in bikes.
Time: I only have so much time and creative energy. Both those premises would involve quite a bit of research as I know very little about surfing or bikes. I cannot currently put that much effort into a fanfic. I can barely put it into an original work
I’m not knocking fanfics. I’ve written them in the past and am still reading them. Some are as good or better than the works they’re based on. But that isn’t where I want to dedicate my energy at this time.
Also, while the dragon bike one is clearly going to go in a different direction than the movie, it’s still not quite mine in a way that the vampire surfer idea is.
If anyone wants to use the dragon bike premise and write it, perhaps put their own spin on it, it’s up for grabs. Just let me know. I’d like to read it.
I have a Tumblr account now. It’s still pretty new, not a whole lot on it, but feel free to check it out. Just ignore my posts about having issues, I figured most of those out by now. So far I’ve got an original poem, a little extra-canonical scene from the Hyde Chronicles (no spoilers), some cool nature and animal shots, and why my cat is not a help when trying yoga. More to come. My cat isn’t a help when writing this blog either, he kept coming and sitting on my chest so I can’t see my screen.
How do you chose what ideas to follow?