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  1. #1
    Aver0n 2o11
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    The fine line between a light bulb and a commitment

    At any given point in time, depending on how much you don't want to be in the present moment, there can be many hundreds of ideas floating through your mind:

    * on public transport for the 2 hr ride
    * surfing net @ work when you're supposed to be well... working
    * when you're in an argument that you know you cannot win
    * etc...

    These are the most fertile moments for "inspiration". No one can act on all the light bulbs (or you'd never get any sleep), so my question is:

    When does a bright idea stop being an idea and starts to be something that is strong enough for you to want to commit to it over... a very long time?

    Sorry if this question's been asked before - just wondering.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Averon 2011 View Post
    When does a bright idea stop being an idea and starts to be something that is strong enough for you to want to commit to it over... a very long time?

    Sorry if this question's been asked before - just wondering.
    Probably never before in a writing craft forum. Unless...do you mean a bright idea involving a writing project?

    Just listen to your intuition as to "when" -- go with your gut.

    (Your question sounds like something Carrie Bradshaw would ask in Sex and the City.)

    *_*

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Averon,

    I suppose the answer is all the time. But all the ideas aren't books.

    Many of them are layers for your current project. For example, I recently gave a guy at the corner grocery a ride home because it was snowing and he had a walker. He'd had a motorcycle accident a decade ago and was obviously off both physically and mentally; he gave every piece of information about himself in exact distance from either his birthplace or where he was stationed in the Navy. It was fascinating. I think he was accessing memory through this spacial distancing. In the short journey, I also learned that he'd worked at McMurdo Station in Antarctica, a place that figures briefly into a minor character's backstory in my WIP. I mined him for details my primary source hadn't been able to give. But I found myself fascinated by this spacial memory retrieval he had going on. I don't want to write a book or even short story about him, but I want to remember it to just give a minor character that extra something.

    But let's say that when I'm done with this book, which features a character with this sort of spacial memory retrieval, and I just can't get this guy out of my head. Perhaps in the next book he'll end up a more major character.

    I think the thing is that you take in every idea, but not every idea is a book or even a major aspect of a book. In my experience, most of them are layers in your WIP.

    Hope that helps.

  4. #4
    Member
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    Personally I don't think you will know until you write about it. I like to write out little scenes from different storylines, sometimes not even from the one I'm specifically working on. This helps me sort my thoughts, get to know a character or a place, and free my mind for the next lightbulb. Then, even if you don't end up using that specific idea, you can still go back and read what you wrote. It is very interesting to go back and read stuff you wrote five years ago, and you may even get new ideas from your old ones.
    I think any idea can be commited on, it's just seeing if it works on your own or if you have to make it work. Personally, if I have to force an idea to work, I usually don't use it.

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