Thursday, April 30, 2009

Translating Ideas into Prose

Like many writers, I have an abundance of ideas. New ones, old ones, good ones, dubious ones, elaborate ones, and one-liners that may or may not make sense. Some are collected in a little box. Yeah, that one there. Plus I have a hefty folder on my computer.

But those ideas are in one language. The language of a laughing muse, who sprinkles ideas like fairy dust then flees off into the mist. And that laugh no longer seems fun. Some of those ideas don't seem to translate into the language of narratives.

I've got more than a few stories that I've started writing only to find that every single attempt is clunky, awkward, silly, or dull. Even if I know what to do with that idea, how to spin the yarn out into a sweater (or a straight-jacket. Though, I admit, the idea of a knitted straight-jacket amuses me. Anyway.) Even if I know what to do with the idea, how to make it a story, it just doesn't work.

I don't know if it's me-- if my execution is where the idea fails-- or if it's just that the great idea isn't so great actually. I admit to abandoning many ideas because I don't know how to care for them and help them grow up into full-grown stories. They wait, like unhatched eggs, for me to come back. Every now and again, I dust one of those old ideas off and find that, with a complete make over and some trimming, cutting, reworking, and reimagining, that it can be story. But then, is it really the same idea? Does it matter?

Some days, it seems so silly that I can't turn a certain idea into a story. Or that I'm just not working hard enough at it. Other days, that same idea seems silly and hardly worth time, let alone a couple hundred (or couple thousand) words.

And other times I spend more time thinking about how I write than actually writing. Um. Yeah. Anyway, with the aforementioned story 'Bosom Buddies' complete, I'm in the process of shifting gears and WIPs. I've got two stories in progress, a third idea that is just begging me to figure out how to put it into prose, and a sudden increase in free time. I'm like a polygamist trying to decide between pleaseing the angry spouse, enjoying the happy spouse, and making a move on the new love interest.

I'm done stalling. And out of analogies. ;-)

1 comment:

Becky said...

Great analogies they are though :) Blogging - a writer's main for of procrastination! It feels like work...too bad it's not adding to the word count of my WIP!

Becky (AW)