A thought just came to me. It’s a thought I’ve had before, but never really took the time to really think about it and dissect it.
About 90% of the stories I think about never make it to paper. And that’s probably a good thing.
I think there are four types of stories that go on in my mind. Let’s discuss, shall we?
1. No One Sees It But Me
These are stories I just think about just for fun. I have no intention of writing them; I just like to think about them.
Why wouldn’t I write them down? A lot of times, they are just not really good stories. They may be really dramatic or entertaining to think about, but when you come down to it, the plot is bad or cliché or it’s just not something I’d like to put out there with my name on it. Not to mention, no one would probably read it or publish it.
Every once in a while, these stories will star characters that I am actually writing about. In that case, these stories help to develop the character. The more I think about a character, the more I learn about them. So, these stories are not entirely useless.
I do have to approach these types of stories with caution. What goes on in the mind is a powerful thing, and I can’t allow myself to indulge in immoral thoughts just because no one will ever know of them. Not only that, but if I’m not careful I’ll use these stories to escape reality.
I have to have control over my imagination (or better yet let God have control of it) and not allow my imagination to take control of me.
2. Captured My Imagination
These are those stories which I think I could write.
They come with great potential. They have a plot I can work with and characters that are interesting. I run them through in my mind and it captures my imagination, but when I’m finished my mental prep work, it just falls apart. There’s just not enough there to keep me interested. Not really sure why those stories fail, but they do–although, some times I do have an inkling they’ll fail when I start. I suppose they are a great way to keep up my plot developing skills.
3. Written but Not Finished
These are the most frustrating of all the stories I think about. They are stories that I’ve started to write, but failed as I was writing them. Happily, they’ve become rarer as I’ve grown as a writer.
You see, when I get an idea for a story, I start on it by working it out in my mind. Some people outline, but I hate outlines. Running through the story in my mind helps me to decide if it’s a good story or if it’s one of those that captures my imagination but have no real substance.
I think that’s the reason I used to have so many stories that I started but didn’t finish–because I tried to write them as I wrote. A successful story doesn’t work that way . . . at least, it doesn’t for me.
4. The Successful Story
Of course, these are those stories that make it on paper and through the revision process. Whether other people like them or not, these are the stories I like to write. I like to go through the process and see the finished product.
These are the stories worth the trouble of writing down.