Just read my friend, Fallon Jackson’s new story, The Rape of Libby. It immediately brought to mind the question all writers are familiar with, where do you get your ideas?
I know where Fallon’s tread-upon-taboo concept for this story came from. I’ve come up with some rather strange thoughts that found their way into print myself. My ex-wife used to tell everyone I was warped and demented. I always took it as a complement—still do.
For me the ideas that become stories are like little bits of flint rolling around in all that nearly empty space in my head until they eventually strike a spark that sets the junk on fire.
I had one little mental picture that I carried around for a dozen years until one day I picked up a piece of paper from my desk. My grandson had written a story like grandpa and left it for me. That little paragraph he wrote and that picture I was carrying caught fire. It is now in the hands of the editors at Tiwaz Press with the title, Trails of Trouble.
The first chapter of Bayou Moon, my latest release, appeared full-blown like a scene from a movie playing in my mind. I had been reading some procedural style murder mysteries and the two melded into one.
Death Rides the Red is really just an expansion of an idea that first saw light as a short story written years earlier. That story finally found a home in Tiwaz Press’ And Come Out Fighting, Tales of Guts and Glory.
Stories jump from songs, pictures, and unguarded thoughts. Choosing which to write and which to ignore is often the more difficult task. There are times I walk into a room and forget why I was going there. Personally, I think this is because I walked in on aliens and the Men in Black zap me with their thingy. That never seems to happen to stories that really want to be written.
While I haven’t always been a writer, I have always been a storyteller, or as some prefer to say—a liar. CNN might come calling someday, but I hold out little hope of that. I like to mix my falsehoods with facts and make them sound believable.
Good luck, my friend, explaining where the idea for your story came from. I’m sure the outcry will be loud.