I wasn’t terribly concerned about being right as a child, I will admit. I was quiet and didn’t ask a lot of questions, finding that the information I wanted usually found its way to me. Those answers that didn’t come to me and I didn’t otherwise find an answer to, I made up answers that made sense to me.
Why do I bring this up now? Because I’m going to talk about how my stories happen and I’m going to be talking about things as I came to understand them as opposed to how they’re actually stated in accordance with reputable sources such as dictionaries.
The first step to a story is the inspiration. It’s just a spark of an idea that snowballs out of control. It happens on rare occasions, or maybe several at a time, but when it comes, I do try never to miss the opportunity. I’ll only know parts, but those parts are so much fun that I absolutely must do something with them. At this point I try to write down every loose, unconnected bit and ride out the inspiration for as long as it lasts. Usually, I only get as far as the basic concept and a few scenes at this point. Maybe a couple key characters show up as well.
And then the inspiration passes. It’s all been written down and I take a breath. The idea sits in my mind and I do nothing with it for a bit.
It’s at this point that the story’s muse is born. From that initial spark of an idea, they start nagging at the back of my mind within the underdeveloped mess of ideas and insist that I get to work making this all make proper sense. Where the inspiration has left the idea, the muse helps to make it into a story, meticulously creating characters and plot that actually makes things flow from one bit to the next. The events, the subplots, all of that is in the hands of the muse. It helps me create an outline and character notes so I know what happens and won’t get stuck writing.
So that’s it, right? That’s how the story is made. With just the inspiration and the muse that’s made the inspiration into something I can put down onto the page, that’s the end of it.
Except for the other thing.
The other thing happens to be the thing that causes all of my writer’s block. The thing without name. It’s not lack of inspiration, because that’s already come and given me lots to work on. It’s not the muse, who has ensured I have an outline and will always know what to write next.
The other thing is actually writing it down, the words coming out and creating the sentences that turn into paragraphs. The hard part and the fun part. The part that everyone can actually see once it’s all done with. The other thing is the technical getting down to work bit and it’s the last piece in the story puzzle. Once that’s done, the story exists physically (digitally, I guess, since I write on a computer) and the muse can finally rest.
Well, until the edit, anyway.