Friday, April 10, 2009

Filing Away the Stories

by G.Parker

My daughter has a small 2 drawer filing cabinet in her closet that's stuffed full. She has another box full of notebooks in her closet, that're full of the same thing; story ideas. She gets more story ideas than anyone I've ever seen. It's astounding the amount of stories that have popped into her brain.

The problem is, when she gets them, she has to hurry and write them down, or she forgets them and then they're lost. This sounds like me. Anything can bring them on -- a story, a conversation, a dream, someone else relaying an experience, a story she's name it, she's come up with something from it.

Her only problem is, she never does anything with them. That’s not good.

We've tried to get her to finish at least one of her stories. She has one that she's written only the prologue and first chapter, but it's truly amazing. I've told her how much I love it and how she should enter the chapter in Orson Scott Card's one chapter contest, but she doesn't seem to be motivated. It's really good. It's enough to drive me crazy.

I get story ideas (obviously, or I wouldn't be a writer) and I try to make a brief note about the basic idea somewhere on paper. When I've been at work, I've emailed the idea to myself so that I have it. When I'm in a car driving, I have to rehearse it over and over so I don't forget it before I get somewhere that I can write it down. If I'm the passenger, I'm desperately searching for a napkin or something, because unlike most of my organized writing friends, I never carry a notebook around with me. Sigh.

My daughter, on the other hand, ALWAYS has some kind of notebook with her. She has all the earmarks of a great writer, except she never writes. Well, okay, perhaps never is too strong...RARELY writes consistently.

Darvell mentioned how he doesn't write every day. In fact, sometimes he'll go for a couple of weeks without writing and then write like crazy. But -- at least he writes.

I try very hard to write something every day. I don't always make it, but I'm glad when I do because I feel that I've accomplished something that day. Most day's it's just a blog entry, but that's okay too.

I shudder to think about all the stories my daughter locked up inside that filing cabinet, never to see the light of day. Because even if she did write every day, maybe two hours a day, she would never get to the bottom of that pile.

Never. Don't you think that's the saddest thing you've ever heard? It makes me think of a story...


Deborah said...

I'm impressed she does that much. You never know, one day the writing bug might hit and she'll be way ahead of the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

Heck, have her compile a book of plot ideas - I'll be that would sell like hotcakes!!!

Anonymous said...

that was supposed to say "I'll beT" - yeah, I can type...

LexiconLuvr said...

She sounds very promising. In all things their time. For now, just keep being a great example. Someday, she'll watch your success and that might be the thing that gives her permission to follow in your footsteps. And if she never does? That's ok too. God loves wonderous variety.

Melanie Goldmund said...

This reminds me so much of me. Sometimes I get ideas, but I don't write them out as stories because I don't know the endings. I think it must be a weakness of mine, that I don't always know the "solution" to a problem, whether in real life or in stories. I only write those stories where I can clearly see the resolution and how to get there, more or less. And even then, sometimes I'm afraid that my resolution is weak and/or immature, certainly not the way other (adult) people would choose to solve that problem. I've been wondering for several years now why this is; if it's a unique aspect of my personality, or if it's a typical syndrome of my ADD. Maybe it's both. I read humongous amounts of books, and all too often, I find myself admiring the way the author has solved the problem(s), but thinking at the same time, "I never would have thought of that!" And then I beat myself up and wonder why I can't think of such things.

But maybe your daughter has a similar problem, some kind of weakness, or perhaps even a fear, that keeps her from continuing?

G. Parker said...

She made the comment over the weekend when I told her I'd written a blog about it, that she had a better idea for a couple of them, she actually had the beginning and middle and I told her she didn't need to wait to find those out...sometimes they come as you write!!