Story Sparks #4

You can use these ideas but rephrase them in your own words. If you use the exact idea credit me, but if you use your own version of the idea no credit required!

Dialogue

“I make it a point to become friends with people’s enemies.”

“I will either live gloriously or die gloriously. There is no in between.”

“I have nothing to apologize for. And even if I did, I wouldn’t. So there.”

“I’d been turned down so many times I figured that by now, chance HAD to be on my side. It doesn’t even make sense mathematically that someone could fail so many times and not get lucky even once.”

“I’m glad salvation isn’t through works, because today I’m not gonna be perfect.”

“What’s your favorite color?”

“Gunpowder grey.”

“I’m sure you meant that to sound all tough and manly but that sounds like a Crayola color name.”

Scraps

The city’s air was thick and smelled of wet leaves and old coins.

Everyone always bewares of the quiet broody ones in hoodies. But the really scary ones are the chatty, kawaii, bubbly ones you never see coming.

“One has but to look at you and one sees, here’s a woman who may be happy or unhappy, but isn’t bored.” –quote from Anna Kerenina.

The world rushes past the car window. Trees flicker by, blurred like looking out from a spinning carousel. The wheels churn the ground leaving a trail of gold dust in the air and light paints the tops of the trees in orange as the sun recedes behind the mountains. I will it to linger, for those lighted canopies are the last thing my hungry eyes can hold on to.

A very Sherlock style deduction: if someone watches one channel a lot, the logo watermark of the channel may be burned into the person’s TV screen.

“The Worst of Both Worlds” (would be an amusing book title)

A guy who is so antisocial he goes into a drive-in instead of a theatre to see movies, so he can sit inside his car, not next to people.

A guy has a cat and often brings the cat to visit his mother in a very nice care facility that he provides for her, where they have nice rooms and windows and sunshine. His mother has a fixation with painting flower pots, so he brings her flowers to put in the pots. He also brings his cat there to visit her which she enjoys very much. The sad part? His mother has severe memory loss and doesn’t remember her son, and ends up remembering the cat more than him. So he ends up being jealous of his own cat, but still faithfully visits his mother. (This was actually an idea I had for an antagonist…because I believe in rounded antagonists and wanted to show a soft side!)

“ Delusional disorder is an uncommon psychiatric condition in which the patients present with delusions, but with no accompanying prominent hallucinations, thought disorder, mood disorder, or significant flattening of affect.[1][2]Delusions are a specific symptom of psychosis. Non-bizarre delusions are fixed false beliefs that involve situations that could potentially occur in real life; examples include being followed or poisoned.[3] Apart from their delusions, people with delusional disorder may continue to socialize and function in a normal manner and their behavior does not generally seem odd or bizarre.[4]However, the preoccupation with delusional ideas can be disruptive to their overall lives.” –Wikipedia

Do You Love Your Story Enough to Commit to It?


Today the this blog is honored to welcome a guest post from a young author, Rachelle O’Neil!

Relationships take work, whether they be with a parent, sibling, friend, or spouse. It is universally acknowledged that, in order to have a successful relationship that goes beyond the barest superficiality, you’re going to need to invest some hard work into it. And that requires a commitment to the relationship. Writers have another type of relationship that they cultivate: the relationship with their stories. And our stories are like some of our deepest relationships with people: they depend upon an intense commitment. So the question then is this: Do You Love Your Story Enough to Commit to It?

Commitment, though an easy enough word to say, is a difficult concept to truly understand. According to dictionary.com, “commitment” is a “a promise or pledge; an obligation.” So how does it apply to our stories?

Commitment is being faithful:

In a successful romantic relationship, each member is faithful to the other. As marriage vows go, “forsaking all others…” I’ve heard many writing friends describe the way they jump around from story to story, and I’m no stranger to the tendency, either. When we get slightly bored with our current story, we tend to work on something else and let the current work slide. Now, understand that I’m not saying you can’t work on multiple projects at once. I do urge caution, though, since you can only spread yourself so far. But the important part is that you’re actually seeing each of these projects through to completion, not just playing with different ones until you get bored. In human relationships, that’s called cheating or playing the field. Don’t get sucked into the trap of being unfaithful to your story. “The irony of commitment is that it’s deeply liberating – in work, in play, in love.” – Anne Morriss

Commitment is sticking out the messy and hard times:

Sometimes, you get stuck in a rut. And that rut isn’t always pleasant. In a marriage, it may be the daily grind of diapers and 3am feedings. In writing, it might be times your characters aren’t behaving or the plot gets stuck about halfway through the draft. It can also be research and editing; I find myself slipping away from my story now that I’m ready to edit. And I can’t let myself give up on all the work I’ve done. Besides, I still love this story; it’s just hard. It’s so tempting to give up on your story when nothing seems to be going right. But that’s when your commitment (or lack thereof) shows through. Anyone can want to write a book; you must prove that you WILL write that book. Besides, if writing was easy, everyone would do it, and where would the fun be in that? In addition, the trials you go through to write will make your story unique. As the grandmother in the movie Letters to Juliet says, “Life is the messy bits.”

Commitment is reminding yourself why you fell in love:

At the beginning of a relationship, everything is fun and exciting. Those moments when you first get the inkling of this story idea, figure out your main character’s backstory, and come up with a brilliant title. Those are the beginnings of your story, and they are incredibly fun. They’re when you fall in love with your story and decide to make this a long-term thing. But as the actual writing and editing processes go on, you forget what made you so excited. You get frustrated and confused and maybe even bored. When those times come, you’ve got to remind yourself what was so neat about this idea. Why did you light up when it came time to work on this story? Why did it make your creativity bounce all over the realms of possibility? Why did it fill your heart? Look back; rediscover your character sketches and drawings; delve into an aspect of the story that always fascinated you. I love designing outfits on Doll Divine, and, though I tend to get distracted on there, the time spent usually does get me excited about my story again. Create Pinterest boards for your story; do freewriting exercises; deepen backstory. There are many things you can do to remind yourself why you love it. Take advantage of them. “When work, commitment, and pleasure all become one and you reach that deep well where passion lives, nothing is impossible.” – attributed to either FranĀois de la Rochefoucauld or Nancy Coey

Commitment is choosing your relationships wisely:

Not every person you’re attracted to will make your perfect mate. In the same way, not every story idea that pops into your head is meant to be. I have story ideas overflowing from my mind, but not every one of them can support its own story. And, honestly, I’m not really in love with some of them. Writing a book is a long-term commitment; you can’t just choose any story idea that pops into your head. Single out the ideas that make you glow with excitement, the ones that have the potential for depth, and the ones that can stand the fires of writing. And then commit yourself to those ideas. “There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstances permit. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results.” – Unknown

So, are you committed to your story? How hard has it been to work on it through good times and bad? How do you cope with the struggles inherent in the writing and editing processes? Let me know in the comments; I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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Rachelle O’Neil is a young author with a passion for Tolkien, temperaments, and Truth. Though she’s always loved writing, she took her first plunge into serious storytelling with the One Year Adventure Novel (OYAN) program and has just continued to learn since then. She has a thousand stories in nearly that many different genres floating around in her head, on her computer, and scattered across various notebooks that she dreams of one day bringing to life. She blogs every Friday at The Ink Loft and can be found on Twitter and Pinterest.