Monday, 1 February 2016

Nothing is Wasted...

Every writer knows the value of carrying a notebook or some device to record those moments we all get when an idea pops into our heads; we see something that attracts our attention, or we overhear a conversation and there's a line or phrase we just have to use in a story.

I've been known to be walking down a road in the city centre, hearing someone on a phone, stopping and then sidling to a discreet position to casually remove a notebook and pen, before madly scribbling down the words that attracted my attention- and listening for more.

Many of these 'moments' disappear into my notebook and don't emerge again until I'm reading through them weeks or months later.

Others stick in my mind, then years later other thoughts immediately bring that long ago note to mind and a story starts to emerge.

Many years ago- before the tram lines were put in Nottingham city centre- I overheard a phone conversation, and put a single line of dialogue in my notebook. It was asking for a story, but none of my ideas worked, so it was stored.

Ideas...
Last week at the informal NWC meeting in the pub, in conversation I mentioned the comment I'd overheard. We all laughed- because it did sound funny- and back it went into my mental filling cabinet.

Then over the weekend I was reading an article by Patsy Collins in last month's Writing Magazine (February 2016 issue) '101 Ways to Inspire Ideas'. I've no idea which one or more of her ideas started it, but two voices began holding a conversation around the words I'd heard all those years ago...

There's a competition I want to try writing it for, with a deadline in March. Whether it is good enough, or finished in time, I don't know, but I have to try... :D






Image courtesy of Ventrilock & www.freedigitalphotos.net.

10 comments:

Patsy said...

I have a notebook with scribbled ideas and bits of dialogue too (did I include that in the article? Can't remember now)

Glad you were inspired. Good luck with the competition.

Susan A Eames said...

It's good to know I'm not the only one to write down overheard snippets! I have all sorts of 'observations' that I transfer from scraps of paper into a dedicated notebook. You have inspired me to go through that notebook more frequently! Good luck with your new story.

Carolb said...

Thanks, Patsy.:)

That article is very useful, and there were a few things I hadn't considered before.

Carolb said...

Thanks, Susan.

I think writers develop a radar system, there we are carrying on our normal lives and that radar tunes us in to these gems. Have fun reviewing your notebook. :)

Keith Havers said...

I have a notebook but I never remember to take it with me. I always have to scribble things down when I get home. Good luck with the comp.

Carolb said...

Thanks, Keith.

It would be difficult making notes when you're whizzing along on your bike! ;)

Rosemary Gemmell said...

I also write down many things that never see the light of day - but sometimes a little snippet or line will inspire a whole story.

Carolb said...

I'm sure that even those snippets we don't use are still creating other ideas, Rosemary.

Miss Writer said...

I'm glad I'm not alone. I've got about ten books full of ideas that need making into stories in some way. I did wonder about a dictaphone for those times when you can't right things down. I've even resorted to making myself notes on my phone.

Carolb said...

I know writers who use each of those methods successfully. Really it just depends on which one works best for your circumstances Miss Writer- if it works go with it.

I'm sure we all have numerous ideas that may never get used, so the important thing is picking out the gems among them, and getting them out of your mind so you can get on with writing. :)