It has happened. I took my afternoon walk along a path I habitually take beside the sea, and my next story came to a skidding halt in my brain. Turned up like a Double Decker, so red it hurt my brain a bit. And I know the story — even down to the role Mirabelle plums are going to play in it.
I love it when the story fills you like an empty glass. Problem is, though, I have no idea who’s going to tell it, how it’s going to be told, which character should be the central one. But the story is there, big and fat like a cow in my head just waiting to have its udders milked.
But it needs shaping, needs to sit in my head for a while yet until the pieces all fall into some shape so that the plot can show itself. It’s a jumbled mess right now, like a hamper full of dirty laundry. Still, it’s there, a stranger I live with, shy and obtuse, favouring the shadows, muttering in the corners, knocking over the furniture, raising a fit, breaking things. But it’s my stranger and in time we’ll sit down and get to know each other. That’s the hard bit, though. Getting all the pieces together into a well-told story that someone besides me would like to read.
I’ve just got to realize that the whole idea of writing is an exercise of the imagination.
“People always think that writing is based on characters that you’ve observed or autobiographical things, because it’s hard for them to really empathize with an act of imagination. But the author is sitting in an empty room and making up the story completely.” Woody Allen
“We work in the dark — we do what we can — we give what we have. Our doubt is our passion, and our passion is our task. The rest is the madness of art.” Henry James