Thursday, October 7, 2010

Embracing What Comes Next

I am afraid of heights.  Sitting on the ground looking up that doesn't seem to be a bad thing.  But when you are up in the trees looking down...well you get the picture.

This week I have posted a lot about getting reacquainted with an older manuscript.  Well, lets be honest here, it wasn't even an older manuscript.  It was an idea that took its shape in the form of about forty pages of write up.  The basic story line emerged for me as I sat in my office rummaging through old files trying to find something to post for Teaser Tuesday.

Back in the day....oh a hundred or so years ago, when I originally penned this idea I was not the neurotic organized writer that you see today.  Back then I would sit down and write long hand.  *Shudders*  I know, I did it long hand.  I also did not flesh out the ideas from start to finish the way I do today.  Do I see that as a good thing or a bad thing?  Since we are asking the question today I would have to say a good thing.  

Reason being.  I have this forty or so pages of story line and when I got done reading it the other night I sat here in disbelief looking for the rest of the it.  What happens next?  No, seriously Kelly, WHAT happens next?  Do you ever do that?  Read something that you wrote and wonder where you were going to go with it. 

I didn't suffer for long.  No sirree.  Immediately ideas started to come to me.  Where they had been, where they had to go.  How they got to this point.  The journey's they had taken.  I know that sounds like a lot of gibberish right now, but I am hoping with some serious effort on my part and a lot of time tickling the keys I will come up for air and have something solid. 

And if I don't I can always go back to the drawing board and start all over again.  That really is the best part of doing this crazy awesome thing of writing.  But I think for the first time in a long time I really understood the idea of not mapping it all out and just going it with the ideas as they came to me.  

I know being a planner works for me on certain levels.
But in this story, in that time, had I spent too much on the ideas and planned it from start to finish I may not have thought this was maybe a diamond in the rough.  I may have just cringed at the naive ideas I had all those many years ago and put it aside and moved on to the next.

So this weekend I am going to spend some time culling through the boxes I have of long writing and the many files I have stored on my computer to see if there is anything I can use.  There are few things I am sure of though.  If I don't find anything, at least I will have the pleasure of seeing how far I have come as a writer.  And I am not going to be afraid of what comes next, even when I don't necessarily know what that is. 

So here is my challenge to you guys.  Go pull out an early writing.  Look at it through new eyes and see if you can salvage anything from it.  But today, tell me about the first story idea you ever had.


Karla Nellenbach said...

hahah! I was eight, and it was a ghost story, very aptly titled GHOST. Instant bestseller, in my humble opinion...well, if it had been more than 5 handwritten pages long :)

The first book-length work I ever finished was a kind of dystopian/romance entitled LOVE AND OTHER LIES. The only thing semi-decent about it was the title. LOL

Patty Blount said...

This is why I am a compulsive outliner. I can't remember what I ate for breakfast let alone remember what I was thinking with old story lines.

abby mumford said...

i'm actually still working on the first (serious) idea i ever had. which is probably why i am afraid to move onto something new.

you do something old. i'll do something new. deal?

Elizabeth Flora Ross said...

As a nonfiction writer, my "stories" come from my own life. And I never know quite when inspiration will strike. ;)

The first time I really felt the need to write one of my personal stories was after I was diagnosed w/a chronic illness in 1998. That became the inspiration for my first book.

Jamie D. said...

The first real story idea I ever had started in a tiny cabin in the woods. That's all I had for starters - and a full two notebook pages written longhand describing the area and cabin, literary style. I showed it to someone who told me I should probably not count on being a writer. ;-)

I still have a file drawer of my early works much like you...nothing finished, of course, but thanks for the challenge. I may have to go rifling through that one of these days....

Kelly Breakey said...

I just want all of you to know that when you pull those first stories out and post them I will be the first in line to read your blasts from the past.