Hallelujah. It happens: an idea for story grips you in its bewitched fingers and gets you all fired up, fireworks sparkling and exploding in your brain, and you rush to grab a pen and paper to write it down, to plaster the beautiful creature onto paper, THIS IS IT, you think…only to see it flop and die on the page.
Something just goes wrong.
The characters are flimsy cardboard cut-outs, just props to keep the plot moving. None of the world-building is even remotely believable. The story starts off peachy, but soon deteriorates and peters off into a ramble of nothingness that doesn’t even make sense, straying away like a demented cat on the trail of an invisible rat. Your story is a wash of stained sugar, rather than blood, entirely without substance, and all you are left with is a bad taste in your mouth, and a few new crushed dreams.
Why? Why, why, why does this happen?
I don’t think I have all the answers. In fact, I have very few answers. Rather, that question is more directed at all of you: do you know the workings behind this phenomenon? But, I’ve whittled it down to a few.
- Not good enough yet. I’m just not good enough of a writing yet to write something that feels truly alive. My imagination and skills are still fetuses, yet to blossom and bloom into proper, functioning babies. This is disappointing. All one can do, in this situation, is to keep writing.
- Need to plan and brainstorm more. Maybe I just haven’t been nurturing the seed of the idea yet, and simply rushed to the page before it has even germinated. It’s like trying to force a newborn bird, still sticky with membrane, to fly. It’s not going to work, is it? So maybe one needs to sit with one’s ideas, let them grow and blossom, before rudely pushing them out of the nest of one’s mind.
- Bad idea. The idea wasn’t that great in the first place. Like a crystal house built on shaky foundations. Pretty, but, in the end, not nearly sturdy enough to withstand a few puffs of wind, and liable to topple over before the day’s out. So, this kind of sucks as well, because it brings in a lot of doubt: what makes an idea good? What if I can’t stumble across an idea that truly makes my heart sing? What then?
In the end, what do we do? We wake up, and we try. And maybe the lightning strike hasn’t hit yet, and maybe it won’t for a long time, and maybe I’m a deluded talentless fool and this phenomenon (which I made up, in case you hadn’t realised) is only further evidence of it, but I will wake up, and I will try. I will try to follow the singing. I will try to follow the love. That is all we can do.