When I get an idea for a story, it’s quite often an opening line. If it’s not that specific, then it’s the opening of a scene. I know who at least one of the characters are, and what situation they are in then when I sit down and start to write and learn more about them.
This week I’ve been looking back at my ‘work in progress’ folder, and seeing if there are any stories in there that I feel ready to work on again. I came across one, a re-telling of Red Riding Hood from the perspective of the wolf, that I started more than a year ago. I have the idea, I know the characters; I’ve got a killer opening line:
She clothes herself in shades of blood and danger.
But…when I try to move on from that, I’m just never happy with the way the story goes. I’ve tried a few times to go back to the idea, with no joy. I’ll go back to it again, because one day, when I start typing, it will be the right time and it will all come together.
Why do I start pieces and not finish them? Well, like Red, sometimes I just lose the momentum. Other times, like this weekend, I pick the wrong time to start. It was late evening, and I had a strong story idea come to me. I sat down, the words started to pour out:
For as long as I can remember, I’ve seen faces.
And…then my 5 year old came and asked me to read her a bedtime story.
Summer holidays are hard for me, creatively. When the kids are around it’s impossible to write, because my train of thought is so easily derailed by interruptions. This summer I have mostly given myself non-writing tasks to do; editing the first Alfie Slider book before publication, working on Yorkshire Story, drafting a marketing plan for both projects. The trouble is that I don’t stop having story ideas just because I’m not writing.
Last week I did manage to write a flash fiction story (350 words) for Daggerville Games, and do an Hour of Writes entry; and maybe this week I’ll find time to take those beginnings up there, and keep going until the end.