The Elusive Statement of Purpose

If you have ever started (or even thought about) the process of applying to a graduate program you know that it is pretty common to have to write some kind of essay as part of the application process.  Depending on the school and the program the type of essay can vary.  Many go with the standard SOP (Statement of Purpose) as their application essay.  However, most schools don’t bother to elaborate on what this SOP should look like.  I spend many hours scouring the internet looking for samples, looking at guidelines, and do’s and don’ts.   I felt hopeless.  I felt lost.  I felt like I didn’t even deserve to apply to this program if I couldn’t even figure out how to write a stupid admissions essay.

In the end, I realized that it is not a solitary endeavor.  I asked for help from fellow writer friends and even my former professor.  This, I think, was the key to writing the essay.  As writers, we never really go it alone.  We have readers to give us feedback, editors to fix our mistakes and to smooth things out, and mentors to guide us.   So, in an effort to hopefully light someone else’s path when it comes to applying to grad school, I share the SOP that (along with the rest of my application) helped me gain admission to UCF’s MFA program for Creative Writing.

 

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE / UCF / CREATIVE WRITING MFA

A man once asked me—well, he asked my middle school students, but I think I was the only one who took it to heart— what I was passionate about. On the whiteboard, with my dry erase markers that squeaked across the surface he wrote: Distraction = Passion. What distracts me?  What causes me to drift off and dream when I’m supposed to be doing something else?

It’s writing.  It’s cooking up scenes and characters and dialogue.  When I wasn’t teaching, I was writing so much more because I was in an office job with a keyboard at my fingertips all day. Even though I probably shouldn’t admit this, I write the best when I’m at work, when I’m supposed to be doing something else. Ever since I started my first post-college full-time job, I’ve had a bad habit of squeezing in a chapter here, or a character profile there, or revising when I should be working. Once, my boss even reprimanded me for it, but it wasn’t enough to discourage my writing habit.   I was addicted. I am addicted.

The power of words just blows my mind. A word transforms something imaginary into something solid, something almost tangible–a world where anything can happen and that will go on forever, with no fear of extinction. Characters live on in a world that would never have existed if the pen had not been put to paper. Everyday, new worlds are created to capture our imagination and captivate and stimulate our minds. What would the world be without writers willing to share the wild tales and colorful characters of their imaginations?

Where would the millions of Harry Potter fans, young and old, be if J.K. Rowling hadn’t created a new, magical world that co-exists with our own (Muggle) world? Where would Rowling be without the influences of Tolkien and Lewis and Shakespeare and Homer?

That rush of excitement and satisfaction is something I have missed over the last few years since I finished my BA in creative writing. I started teaching high school English shortly after graduation and not much time was left for indulging my imagination. I found it very difficult to juggle lesson plans, grading papers, professional development and all the new teacher training with my writing life. Writing, during that time was very minimal. My former professor, Nathan Holic, would often check in and ask how my writing was coming along. This question that always made me feel guilty for even pretending I was a writer. For a short period of time after, my word count would grow. But, then my job took over once more.

I loved my job so I didn’t really mind, though I did miss writing. It was so much fun and I was okay with the fact that, because it was so demanding, I might never be able to realize my dream of being a writer first, teacher second. But that contentedness all changed in January of 2013 when I lost my son shortly after birth. As if one devastating loss wasn’t enough, June would prove to be a month that would take something else dear to me. I also lost the job I loved and the students I loved. I was displaced and I was not happy.

That is how I ended up in a classroom full of middle-schoolers, listening to a guy talk to twelve-year-olds about distraction. It is then that I realized that I still wanted to be a writer first. Whatever else second.

In The Fellowship of the Rings, while the nine companions are trapped in the Mines of Moria, Gandalf says to Frodo, “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” Tolkien spent his time creating a magnificently painted and whole world, one filled with races of elves, dwarves, hobbits and men, that I could get lost in for years. His world included a rich backstory that holds as many fantastic stories as his novels, new languages, and far-reaching landscapes. Middle Earth is the type of world building that many writers aspire to, myself included. J.K. Rowling is another author who has succeeded in creating such a complete and fully realized alternate reality for readers to live in.

It’s the stories I’ve read by authors like Rowling and Tolkien and Neil Gaiman and John Connolly and C.S. Lewis, who spun words into pure magic, that inspire me to write. Over the dozen or so readings I’ve done of the Harry Potter series, my desire to invent only grows. I’ve seen the influences of Greek mythology, Chronicles of Narnia, and even Tolkien in her stories.

I’ve spent a lot of time talking about high concept fantasy writers, but that is not where all my interest in writing lies. I’ve also been mesmerized by works like Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera and Laura Esquivel’s Like Water for Chocolate. Magical realism is a beautiful and poetic literary form I’d like to learn more about. To be able to weave elements of magic so fluidly into a realistic setting is a skill I want to develop.

What I hope to get out of a program like the one at UCF is discipline, first and foremost. This MFA program will help me learn to write routinely and revise effectively, two things I have struggled with the most. I am also looking for an MFA experience where I can do in-depth craft studies on other authors like George RR Martin, Michael Chabon, Ursula LeGuin, and Octavia Butler. I believe that this program will help me to build entire worlds and bring my characters to life. My goal is to become an expert storyteller who might one day share shelf space with the likes of Rowling, Gaiman, Lewis, and Tolkien.

Although it is often misattributed to Tolkien, there is a particularly poignant quote from the original 1978 movie poster for Lord of the Rings. It reads, “J.R.R. Tolkien triumphed with the perception that a single dream is more powerful than a thousand realities.” I want to dream up my own Middle Earth.

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Glasses and the Eight-Legged Ball of Fur

Preface:  My students just finished writing personal narratives on a incident where they made a choice and the consequences of that choice.  Here is the sample I wrote.  This is an un-edited first draft.  It is intentionally un-edited so that they can identify areas that can be changed and improved.

Anyway, enjoy!

 

There I was, standing in the middle of my friend’s living room, about to do one of the grossest things I have ever done. I thought I was just being nice and helpful. I was always taught, “If you see something on the floor, pick it up and throw it away.” In the dim light of the room it looked like an innocent clump of dog hair. No big deal, right? Wrong!

I leaned over to pick it up. As my fingers glided closer and closer, my eyes began to focus on the object on the floor. There was indeed hair…on all eight of its legs. An inch away from the now trembling tips of my fingers was a furry, multi-eyed spider. I leapt back and let out a yell. Not a high-pitched girly scream. A yell. I don’t scream. With my heart pounding in my chest, I put as much distance between that creepy arachnid and me. Ever since watching Arachnophobia as a kid I have been terrified of spiders. Even spiders that are no bigger than a quarter scare me.

However, just because I put an entire living room between the spider and me didn’t mean my problem was solved. In fact, my situation was worse. Before, I only had to pick up a clump of fur. Now the clump had legs. I couldn’t just leave it to run wild and free throughout the house. That would be rude. What if it bit someone? I had to get rid of it.
My solution? I took my shoe off and aimed for the critter. My aim was terrible. I was never any good at baseball. When that didn’t work I called in reinforcements.
My friend, whose house it was, came running in. I pointed, did a heebie-jeebie dance and said, “Spider!”

He marched over to the spider with all the bravery of a soldier ready for war. In one stomp the enemy was dead. I cringed as he lifted his foot to display the mangled corpse of the unfortunate houseguest.

It was one of those moments that I will never forget. First, shortly there after, I went to the eye doctor and learned I needed glasses. Had I known that sooner, I might have been able to tell the difference between a hairball and a spider. Second, I learned to be more careful and pay more attention to my surroundings. If I had turned on a light before attempting to pick something off the floor, then—once again—I would have realized my mistake. A final thought to remember, no good deed goes unpunished.

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Excerpt from JIVETOWN

Here is an excerpt from my screenplay for you to chew on. This is one of my favorite scenes and one of the first ones I ever wrote.
Arcade Scene

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My New Book Cover

THE_TRUE_TALES_OF_FAIRIES(1)

I just discovered this great little website for freelance work.  Fiverr allows you to find people who are willing to work for only $5.  FIVE BUCKS!  Can’t beat that.

Now, this is purely for my own enjoyment, because if I ever do get published, I’m sure they won’t go with this cover.  Either way, I love it and want to show it off.

One of these days I’ll get back to actually finishing the book.  But until then…what else can I pay them to make for me?

 

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Hollywood’s Cautionary Tale

With the news on Saturday, July 13, 2013, that another hugely talented celebrity has died too young, it got me thinking.  Today’s youth (and not-so-youth) are obsessed with celebrity and being famous, but they fail to see that their life is not all glitz and glamour.  They think that—in some disconnected way—if they dress and act like their favorite celebrities, they can become famous, too.  But, the fact of the matter is many of these people who our young ones idolize are seriously troubled people.  They deal with things like addiction, poor body image, mental illness and a host of other issues.  Their lives aren’t fairy tales.  They are cautionary tales.

As our society has evolved to be more celebrity-centric young people are filled with grandiose ideas that they too can be rich and famous and have a kick-ass life if they can just get on TV.  But it isn’t always sunshine and roses for famous people.  Many of them have deeply troubled lives and more often than should be, they die to young.

Too many great talents are no longer here with us.  There is the dark underbelly of being famous that nobody wants to talk about and idealistic teenagers want to pretend doesn’t exist.  Heath Ledger (2008) River Phoenix (1993), Corey Haim (2010-he didn’t die of a drug overdose but he did have a significant substance addiction).  Icons like James Dean (1955) and Marilyn Monroe (1962) also had their fair share of issues.  James Dean had a history of mood swings that led people to believe he was bipolar.  He partied too hard and crashed his car, killing himself.  Marilyn Monroe…she committed suicide!  And yet, these people are the idols of young kids who want to live the Hollywood, jetset lifestyle.

How many young stars have we watched fall apart before our eyes?  Lindsay Lohan?  Britney Spears?  Amanda Bynes?  Stars like Cory Monteith fly a little lower under the radar than these other high profile stars that have had complete meltdowns in front of a camera lens.  While his previous addiction ] was made public by him and his recent stint in rehab, he is one of the few celebrities who seemed to want to get better and was trying.  It’s terribly tragic.  And, unfortunately, not a new thing.  Several actors have gone much the same way.  Tried to get it right, only to succumb in the end.

We can learn a lot from celebrities.  Their lives are on public display, the good and the bad.  So, why not learn a thing or two from them?  Like, drugs will eat you alive.  Just look at all the actors/actresses/musicians/professional athletes/reality stars who’ve died at the hands of drugs and/or alcohol.  Look at the ones who have been in and out of rehab.

The deaths of these celebrities way before their time is obviously the worst case scenario….made worse because you didn’t see it coming with most of these guys.  But there are so many young celebrities that our young ones worship that are on a fast track to the same destination.  Amanda Bynes comes to mind.  She was a child star.  She was beautiful and funny.  And just recently she was put on a 5150 hold in California after a long series of bizarre behavior.  Her very public mental breakdown has been compared to Britney Spears’ 2008 break from reality.  I fear Amanda Bynes has gone much further and will have a longer trip back.  Britney Spears, though she survived and bounced back better than ever.  Lindsay Lohan, Rhianna, Chris Brown, Justin Beiber.  The list goes on.   I only hope I don’t see their obituaries in the paper any time soon.

Cory Monteith’s death isn’t without it’s teachable moment for all his fans.  He even said it himself about his own struggles and his status as a role model.

“I don’t want kids to think it’s okay to drop out of school and get high, and they’ll be famous actors, too.”  -Cory Monteith

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Authonomy and the Aspiring Writer

For those of you who don’t know, Authonomy is a website run by Harper Collins.  The website is a stomping ground for aspiring writers to go and share their books with other aspiring writers (and avid readers).  The idea is that you post some, or your entire book, and gain valuable feedback and support from other members. The support comes in the form of comments, critiques and being placed on a member’s watch list or, the crème de la crème, their bookshelf.  The more bookshelves your book is on the better.  This allows a writer to rise to the top (much like that crème).   If you are lucky enough to reach the top five, your manuscript is read by one of the editors at Harper Collins.

Now, there is no promise to publish or anything like that, but they will provide pretty detailed coverage and they might—just might—option your book.

This whole processes resets at the beginning of every month.  Tomorrow (July 1st) is the first day of a whole new month.  A whole entire month for books to rise and fall in the rankings.  I have chosen my books for this month.  Some have been on my shelf for a while, a few are new to the shelf.  I tend to support a book until it reaches the Editor’s Desk.  Occasionally, though, I will discover a shooting star, and have to place it on my shelf (temporarily postponing my support for a dust collector).  Rest assured, though, that the dust collector will be placed back on the shelf in due time.

You can find the links to the books I am supporting below with a short description of each premise.  Feel free to check them out and show your support as well.

And When by Wendiann – http://authonomy.com/books/30887/and-when/

Struggling through life’s harshest realities alone, Jade will greet the promise of happiness offered by the stranger miles away.

 

Gobbeldygook by ML Morgan – http://authonomy.com/books/30888/gobbeldygook/

A thousand years ago Merlin was tricked and buried beneath rock and spell. With him the most powerful book of magic ever known, Gobbeldygook.

 

Fresh Meat by Maeve Sleibhin – http://authonomy.com/books/39707/fresh-meat/

Paranormal fiction in the tropics – busting out with vampires, demons and succubi. Seems impressive, I’m sure. Until you see the mosquitoes.

 

What, The Elf? by Michael Matula – http://authonomy.com/books/47722/what-the-elf-/

A modern, fast-paced urban fantasy adventure. Manhattan like you’ve never seen it before.

 

Cypher by Violet Wells – http://authonomy.com/books/47987/cypher/

Through the pageantry of breaking cloud, the earth looks like a childhood memory. Something still and finished and remote.

 

And now for a little shameless self-promotion.  Here are my two projects:

The Mystery Adventure Club: The True Tales of Fairieshttp://authonomy.com/books/35715/the-mystery-adventure-club-the-true-tales-of-fairies/

There were once thousands of doors into Faerie. Now there is only one. And Berta Poe just moved right on top of it.

 

Firebughttp://authonomy.com/books/35757/firebug/

Orlando Playboy Ethan Carmichael reluctantly fulfills his best friend’s dying wish and gives up his womanizing ways.

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MAN OF STEEL or MAN OF SNORE?

At about 8:45 last night, my husband was overcome with a desire to see MAN OF STEEL—despite his constant beratement of superhero movies for a number of injustices to the source material.  I checked the listings and found the next showing was at 10pm.  A little late, but I’m on summer break, so I don’t have a bedtime.  Let’s go!

Let me just start by saying that I’m not hypercritical when it comes to evaluating movies.  I’m pretty easy going with regard to what I’ll accept as a good or bad movie.  My tastes are broad and I have a high tolerance for a lot of things.  I’ve seen a lot of terrible movies (that I sometimes love).  I’ve seen a lot of great movies (that I sometimes hate).  Great movies where the entire theater “oohs” and “ahhs” synchronously at all the right moments or erupts into applause at the end.  Those are great movies.  Those are also usually the movies that get panned by the critics.  Not always, but more often than not. 

That said, I need to also warn you that the remainder of this post contains SPOILERS.  Do not read this if you haven’t—but plan to—see the movie at some point in the next twenty years.  Also, don’t read if you don’t like movies.  This will bore you.  Consider yourself warned, don’t blame me if I ruin the movie for you.

I am not reviewing this movie to tell you to see (or not see) the movie.  I’m just commenting on my own personal viewing experience.

Anyhow, MAN OF STEEL was more like Man of Stole 2 ½ Hours of My Life That I’ll Never Get Back.

For the sake of time and not recounting the entire plot, I’m just going to focus on the things that annoyed me.  So, I won’t spoil everything.

First and foremost, we have to understand that this is a reboot to a tried and true franchise.  The failure of Superman Returns to establish a new fan base and the popularity of superhero movies in general led to this newest attempt to make modern day movie goers love Superman.  And they failed.  Again.

It isn’t really the fault of the cast.  I think they were all great.  Henry Cavill as Superman/Clark Kent was excellent (lets just face it, he’s hot—end of story).  He didn’t butcher the role, so that’s a plus.  The only casting that I felt was a bit questionable was Amy Adams.  Love her, but she isn’t the no-nonsense, stop-at-nothing investigative reporter that I picture Lois Lane to be.  Of course, my vision of Lois might be a little biased thanks to the saucy Lois Lane (played by Erica Durance) in Smallville, the TV show.  Amy Adams—I don’t know—just isn’t Lois Lane.

I’m always a big promoter of reading.

She brings me to my first beef with the film.  Character development.  While I think they were given good material, they weren’t given enough time to do anything with it.  Granted, many of the scenes might have ended up on the cutting room floor, but the connection between those two happened too quickly and rather unbelievably.  I mean, they were making googly eyes at each other almost the second their eyes met.

The fact that this is a new rendition means they need to provide backstory.  They needed to show us how Clark Kent, the boy who was afraid of his abilities, evolved into Superman.  They did this through flashbacks.  Normally, flashbacks are pretty informative, but in this case they were just snippets from his childhood where he displayed just how different he was from the rest of the world—they didn’t connect emotionally with the viewer.

The only part they did begin to get right with the flashbacks was his relationship with his earth father, Jonathan Kent, and how Jonathan feared the world wasn’t ready for Clark to reveal himself…which ultimately led to his death. Jonathan Kent died so his son wouldn’t have to reveal his secret…yet.  Now we have an alien with daddy issues.

These snippets were short and choppy.  The transitions back to present day were rough and sometimes unclear.  And there were A LOT of them leading up to Clark finally deciding to take the leap and trust that the world was ready for him…. especially since Zod had already let the world know he was there and that he’d obliterate them if they didn’t hand him over.

It was kind of a “damned if they do, damned if they don’t” situation for Superman.  Not a real breakthrough moment, if you ask me.

Again, I’m not sure if I can contribute these issues to bad writing or bad editing.  Jury will remain out on that one until I read (if I ever read) the script.  But what it boils down to is why does Clark Kent love mankind so much?  Throughout his childhood he was bullied by kids who thought he was a freak?  That’s not very endearing on humankind’s part.  His only good examples of humankind were his parents.  Is that enough to be willing to sacrifice yourself for the whole of mankind, especially since one parent is already dead?

The one thing, in my opinion, that they did get right—despite my husband’s disapproval—was the ending.  MAJOR SPOILER!!! – Quit reading if you don’t want to know how it ends.  Superman and Zod are battling to the death (again) in Metropolis’ Grand Central Station.  Zod harnesses his laser vision and declares to Superman that if he loves the humans so much, mourn for them.   His laser beams inch closer and closer to group of trapped humans in a corner.  Superman begs and pleads for him not to do this.  The lasers are mere inches from the humans and Superman realized Zod, who was genetically engineered to show no mercy, was not going to stop.   SNAP!  Superman breaks his neck.  Zod is dead.  The human’s are safe….for now.

Then we see the torment of having killed a living being, one of the last of his people, wash over him.  He cries out….and who should come to console him?  Amy Adams….I mean, Lois Lane.   Lame!

They should have let him cry it out alone.   But, the ending was absolutely necessary.  For two reasons.  One, Superman now understood that Zod would never stop until he was able to terraform Earth into a new Krypton.  Two, who wants to come back for a sequel and watch him battle Zod all over again?  I don’t.  The first time was painful enough.  I say, bring on Lex Luthor in the sequel or bust.  Bring on a new, bigger, badder villain.

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Opening Lines…How Important Are They?

When I was taking my very first creative writing class, there was one assignment that has stayed with me ever since.  My instructor, Nathan Holic (newly published author of American Fraternity Man) said that the opening line of a story “is perhaps the most important single sentence of the piece.”  It can introduce character, setting, tone and theme.  It can be a short declarative statement, or at can be a lengthy descriptive one.

Since I am in the middle of a writing marathon, I figured I’d give you this to chew on:  A list of some of the opening lines of my favorite books and current reads.  Some authors get the importance of an opening line, while others do not.  Feel free to tell me your thoughts.  Would you read these books based on opening lines alone?  Are they boring?  Are they intriguing.  Do they tell you anything about the book or character or setting? And, please, feel free to share your favorite opening lines, as well.

 

Opening Lines:

“On February 24, 1815, the watchtower at Marseilles signaled the arrival of the three-master Pharaon, coming from Smyrna, Trieste and Naples.”
-       The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas

“If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.
-       The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger

“It was only a duck pond, out at the back of the farm.  It wasn’t very big.”
-       The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Neil Gaiman

“Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.”
-       Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, J.K. Rowling

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”
-       Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen

“It’s a long way in time and space from the bathroom of my Grandmother Mowat’s house in Oakville, Ontario, to the bottom of a wolf den in the Barren Lands of central Keewatin, and I have no intention of retracing the entire road which lies between.”
Never Cry Wolf, Farley Mowat

“It was inevitable: the scent of bitter almonds always reminded him of the fate of unrequited love.”
Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez

“There was a hand in the darkness and it held a knife.”
-   The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman

“The terror, which would not end for another twenty-eight years—if it ever did end—began, so far as I know or can tell, with a boat made from a sheet of newspaper floating down a gutter swollen with rain.”
- It, Stephen King

 

While some of these lines can be deceiving, ALL of these books are just wonderful.  Each of these lines can tell you something about what is going to take place in this book.  In The Count of Monte Cristo, the opening lines establish the setting and, presumably, the occupation of the main character.  In Pride and Prejudice, one can guess that the book will deal with people getting married.

 

And as an extra special bonus, here is the opening line from the story I am currently working on:

The loud whine of the semi-truck’s engine reverberated all around Berta Poe as she lay in the back cabin of her dad’s rig pretending to be a corpse.
The True Tales of Fairies, Donna Cooper Ho

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It’s Official. Percy is Dead.

For those of you who read Percy’s story, I am saddened to inform you that he has lost his courageous battle with the squirrel.  It was a long, hard fight, but in the end Percy just wasn’t a match for the never ending, squirrel-lust for pecan flesh.

You can pay your last respects to Percy here.  He will be interred in the same soil he sprang forth from.  May his will and fighting spirit be passed on to the next generation of little pecan trees that might stand where Percy once stood.

To the squirrel.  You may have broken Percy, but you have not broken me.  I will defeat you.  I will persevere.  Until next time.

 

 

Squirrel: 1   –   Me: 0

 

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Where Do Ideas Come From? (A Personal Point of View)

As fellow writers (closet writers, aspiring writers, backseat writers, etc) what sparks your imagination?  Ever wonder how your favorite author comes up with those crazy/scary/insane/hilarious/intriguing/unbelievable/diabolical ideas?  What made J.K. Rowling come up with a story about an orphaned boy who is really a wizard?  How did Neil Gaiman give birth to a man named Shadow who works for Odin, the All Father?  Why haven’t James Patterson, Robert Ludlam, Patricia Cornwell and Janet Evanovich (and the likes) been arrested for filling the minds of millions with far-fetched criminal ideas.

Where do all these ideas come from?

From a very active imagination and a lot of research, that’s where.

For me, the idea usually begins with a dream.  A little snippet of a series of images that don’t make sense, don’t seem to have any structure and occasionally scare the crap out of me.  But, there is always one part of the dream that stands out.  That part usually lingers long after I’ve rubbed the sleep from my eyes.  Long after I’ve had my morning cup(s) of coffee.  Long after I’ve shaken the fuzz from my brain and sorted out dream from reality.

That’s when I suspect I might be able to use that lingering image.  Last time that happened, I gave birth to the idea of a story set in an old abandoned theme park dedicated to Fairies.

 

(Hang on… just had an idea.)

 

Sorry about that.  Had to write it down.

Anyway, where was I?  Oh yes.  Fairies.  Fairies weren’t the initial idea.  The initial idea was about a boy who ran away because his best friend, a girl, had crushed his feelings.

So, how is a story created with only that to go on?  That is where imagination and research come in.  There are a series of questions that need to be answered.   I spent hours fleshing out these two initial characters, creating their antagonists, establishing a good visual (in my head) of the setting.  I also had to decide what the conflict would be.  Who would be the bad guy?  How will it end?  And more technical stuff before I could even begin writing the first word.

I found books on my prospective topic.  Books on fairies, goblins, gnomes and trolls.  Anything that could help me build this world of imaginary creatures.  While the story is purely my imagination, a lot of it draws upon the imagination of centuries and centuries of superstitious people.  And that requires research.

Every writer has their own ways of coming up with ideas.  That is what makes each writer unique and every story different.  So the next time you ask, “how do they come up with this stuff?” know that the answer could be a “diet coke-induced hallucination” or “lingering dreams” or even, “I once knew a guy….”  Either way, once the idea is born, the real work begins.

 

Please feel free to share your own experiences in writing.  Where do you get your ideas (even if you never write them down)?

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