Saturday, April 18, 2009

Idea file

I wonder how long other writer's idea files are. Mine is a document on my computer. It's 4 pages long and contains everything from possible character names to story ideas. There are little bits of prose that haven't found a home yet.
“Don’t bore me with you stories. I don’t want to hear how you went skydiving or ran with the bulls. Because if you’re here telling me the story then I know that everything turned out OK.”
It’s the happening that you don’t see. The happening is life, it’s all the things you do until you realize that it’s happened. A dissolving marriage, a bad relationship with your kids. You don’t realize that things are as bad as they are until they can’t get any worse, until they are broken beyond repair. Until they’ve happened, and by then it’s too late.

I think that my file is a good size. It's got a lot of stuff in there I hope to develop further. But I know that there are other writers with notebook after notebook full of ideas, probably developed to greater detail than my little file.

So, if there are any other writers out there reading this, how big is your file and what's inside?


  1. I'm one of those writers with notebook after notebook of ideas. I have 18 of them on my shelf. Each one is 8 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches with 100 pages. (They are actually sketchbooks, because I love the texture of the paper). My notebooks date back at least 10 years.

    Some of the ideas have turned into published stories. Some are jotted down, expanded with free writing and then abandoned. Others are just scrawls that are almost meaningless when I look back at them. I'm not sure what I'll do with them all!

  2. Andrea, thanks for stopping by.

    My idea file keeps growing. Added a couple of things the other night. And I forgot about the small notebooks like yours that I was using years ago. I think I have three or four full of free writing. Just me noodling on some ideas. There is one in particular that I know started in the notebooks and has been eating at me for years to write. It's just not fully cooked yet.

    What is the longest something has been trapped inside your notebook before it became something?