Friday, April 23, 2010

Capturing Ideas...or why Sticky Notes are my best friend.

A quick hello from Lisa Mondello. I'm coming out a deep deadline dementia to write this post about story ideas. One of the most popular questions I get from readers is how do I get all my ideas for stories. I always give them a simple answer. Everywhere.

The truth is most writers have no problem coming up with story ideas. After all, the theory is that there are really only 38 Master Plots for fiction and that every story falls within one of those plots. It doesn't matter what genre the story is.

Coming up with stories isn't the hard part for most writers because as we write, we're working our creative muscle. If I had to compare my writing lately to a fitness, I'd have to say I've been in bootcamp for a long time and my creative muscle looks and feels pretty awesome. I feel confident saying that for just about every writer I know.

The problem is not coming up with the idea. It's keeping it long enough to flesh it out and make it into a book. You see, it doesn't matter if I'm deep in deadline dementia or not. I could be so engrossed in the story I'm writing RIGHT NOW and have 10 story ideas be bombarding me at the same time. The urge to give them some attention can be so strong. But I can't. I have a deadline and my editor is counting on me.

The fear is that if I don't give those 10 little seeds of an idea at least a moment's due, they'll be lost from me forever and I'll never get to develop those ideas into stories. Has that ever happened to you? Have you sat up in the middle of the night and thought about something brilliant that you want to jot down in the morning only to completely forget about it? Do you stand at the checkout aisle at the supermarket and wish you had your computer in front of you to capture that little seed of an idea?

Happens to me all the time. That's why I'm convinced I've single handedly kept 3M in business all these years just in Post-It notes and index cards. I have them in my purse, the kitchen drawer, and on my desk. Honestly, sometimes it takes me a while to decipher my little ramblings when I pull them all out and look at them, but I'm always excited when I do.

I recently bought a new computer with Windows 7 on it and have discovered that Sticky Notes is the greatest thing in the world. Now for all you out there who've been using Sticky Notes on your computer for years, please bear with me. I'm a put-the-gas-in-the-car-and-go kind of writer when it comes to technology. I know what works and don't need the latest and greatest to make me happy. But when I discovered Sticky Notes on my computer and saw that they were there each time I logged onto the computer, well, I may as well have struck gold. An easy way for me to organize all my ramblings? How cool is that?

How do all of you keep your ideas organized? How do you keep from losing that great idea without taking time away from the story you're working on now?

Until next time, many blessings, Lisa Mondello

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Anonymous said...

Il semble que vous soyez un expert dans ce domaine, vos remarques sont tres interessantes, merci.

- Daniel

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