The War of Ideas

First off, don’t worry.  This isn’t a political screed or any such nonsense.  As I’ve said before and will no doubt say again, I don’t really have the time for that.

No, this here entry is about another War of Ideas.  It’s about the battle that happens in a writer’s head once they’ve written The End at the bottom of one page and now have a brand spankin’ new blank page to fill with words.  Whenever I reach that point, a battle breaks out in my head as all the ideas for the next story race to the front and try to get to my fingers and from there to the keyboard.  Sometimes it’s a small skirmish, and other times it’s like The Big One going on in my cranium.

Maybe it doesn’t happen to every writer.  Maybe I’m the one with the messed up skull squishins full of fighting ideas.  I like to think I’m not alone, though.

So who wins the battle?  How do you choose what the next story will be?  And what happens to the other idas?

Well, I like to think the really great ideas refuse to do anything but win.  I could be wrong.  I really want to believe, however, that the strongest glimmers of story stand up and make themselves known.  They refuse to wait.  The other ideas?  If they’re any good, they’ll stick around.  I’ve had one idea for a book that’s been stuck in my skull for five years.  it won’t go away.  I just need it to come together a little more and jump to the front of my brain.

Until then, the war continues.

One thought on “The War of Ideas

  1. Me, I always have two basic kinds of story ideas. There’s a whole crowd of shy, polite wallflower stories, sipping their drinks in the back of my mind and waiting for their number to be called, and in the foreground is a smaller number of assertive ideas, charismatic, seductive ideas, real heart breakers, elbowing past each other to catch my attention. Whenever I finish a story I have a drink with this second crowd, and before long one of them will take me home. I don’t worry too much about whichever one I end up with, and I don’t fret about how good-looking the rest of the crowd was. They’ll still be there next time.

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