Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Writing is Like a Jug of Water

Being a writer is like a jug of water. Sounds funny, huh? But it’s true for me. The water in the jug resembles story ideas that are in my head. When the jug is full, writing comes easily. Characters, setting and dialogue flow onto the page. I don’t use a plot or outline, so one idea will lead into the next throughout the story.

But where do my ideas come from to keep that jug full? Watching people’s expressions, smiles, the way they move. Listening to conversations. A lot of ideas can come from simply sitting in a coffee shop. Once an idea strikes, I’ll jot it down anywhere, including the back of bill envelopes and various sticky pads throughout the house. If I’m driving the kids to soccer, stopping at the gas station, or stuck in traffic, I use a notebook in the glove compartment. In a nutshell, I use any paper I can find.

Keeping track of these papers and stickies gets tricky, but if it’s a good blurb, piece of dialogue, or scene sketch, I always remember where I wrote it. I may forget where I left my car keys five minutes earlier, but a really great story idea is like a first love. You never forget it.


RoseAnn DeFranco said...

Love the title of this blog. It really grabbed my attention and made me want to read. Kind of like a great hook to a novel, right? Puts a whole new perspective on My Cup runneth over! I love the last line of this, Chris, comparing a great story idea to a first love never to be forgotten. Our stories are like our babies, our loves...they are a piece of what we hold inside our hearts. Put that way, writing sounds so much more courageous than I ever thought it was.

Christine Clemetson said...

Thanks RoseAnn! I agree. I find with story ideas...they're precious. If its really good, you don't forget and they really do stay in your heart. You may work on other characters or projects, but you never forget certain ones. When I was about 17, I had a great idea for a story set in a summer camp. I think its time to drag that paper out of the drawer.

RoseAnn DeFranco said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RoseAnn DeFranco said...

OH!!! You HAVE to. It is probably golden material. Let me know! How great to have a piece of your 17 year old self stashed away.

Zaxxy said...

Hey Christine! I made a blog about my romance story! Visit my blog!!!!! Oh and by the way. The way writing works for me is I think of the feelings and the actions. Writing is my flame of life. Never lose your flame for life. If you do, you will lose yourself.

Christine Clemetson said...

Hi Zaxxy!
Great news about your blog! I like your thoughts on your flame of life too.. very inspirational!

Thanks for posting!