Today, instead of writing a story, I’ m going to write about writing stories. Friday is my hardest day of the week, work-wise, and if I don’t have a story ready to post when I get home, there is little hope of getting one written in the evening. So instead, let me tell you about my story queue.
As long as I have been writing, I have had a file for story ideas. This is just a place where I can write random thoughts and ideas that might develop into a story later on. Some of these ideas are terrible, but at least several of my novels sat for years as one-line premises in a story idea file before I developed them into full-length novels.
For my blog, I have a separate story idea file that is mostly for short stories. It has about 45 story ideas in it now. Some are quite terrible and will never be written, but most could have a shot at being decent if/when I get the time and chance to write them.
Recently, however, I have a new thing developing, which is my story queue. These are stories that I have either committed to writing or that I am actively planning to write, and this is growing quite fast as well. Here is what it looks like at the moment:
– a full story based on my Visual Fiction story, Blue Storm (monsters raining from the sky)
– a full story based on the Visual Fiction story, The Sundering Fog
– a longer story based on my Classics Arguments story
– a longer story based on The Lake
Are you sensing a theme? These are either flash fiction stories or teaser stories I wrote that people have commented that they’d like to hear more about. Of course they are stories I am interested in too, or I wouldn’t even consider writing more about them. I don’t mind sharing these, since they’re all based on posted stories. However, there are others that I am working on, or planning, that I am more hesitant to share, since they’re still just ideas. Here are a few of them:
– a time travel story that I’m writing for Amy of the Bumble Files, as part of my Invitational Prompts series. I’ve been working on it for a long time and it’s about 10,000 words, but soon it will be finished and I will post it in sections.
– a story about North Korea (#3 in the Invitational Prompts series), which I will be writing based on ideas provided by nightlake.
– a story about a (fictional) friend named Sammy. We all know a Sammy. He’s quite a guy, and not always in a good way.
There are a few others that are less defined or that I don’t want to share yet. I am going to write all of these eventually and I will give priority to the Invitational Prompts stories, but the main problem with this list is that about half the stories I write come from sudden inspiration. I get an idea, sit down, and just write it, maybe in half an hour or an hour (not including an equal amount of time for editing). So, it always takes me a while to get through the list and then more things make their way onto it.
Writing is a very private thing, but I’m curious: how do you write your stories or blog posts? Do you have ideas that you plot out, or do you write everything off the top of your head? Since I do both, I see the merits of both, but I’d love to hear what you have to say about the matter.