I had an idea for a story last month. It’s been sitting as a single note on my computer for a month. It’s been stewing in my brain. I didn’t think I would do anything with it ever, like it would be one of those things that you get all crazy inspired about and then it just gets lost.
It had been three days since I wrote a story. I was getting annoyed. I wanted some inspiration and my prompts just weren’t cutting it. So I thought of my stew. It was simmering and I tasted it. I just wanted to try it, see if it was ready. I held the story for a day and it wasn’t feeling right. I was just being really one dimensional about it. You know when you have an idea in your mind and you keep going at it from the same perspective? Over and over it was the same story, until all of a sudden I changed the focus, changed the perspective, the voice and BAM! Awesomeness. After that the stew was edible. I worked the rest out quickly, it just came pouring out.
So now that I’m done, waiting for Ben to look over the story and give his feedback, I’m reflecting. What did I learn? Stew tastes better when it has been left to simmer. Sometimes ideas don’t come right away. Hell sometimes they don’t even come at all, but that’s okay. It’s in there somewhere, it just needs some time. The veggies need to get soft, the juices need to mingle.
Now that I have driven this metaphor into the ground, I would love to hear your thoughts on story development. How does it work for you? Are you a stove-top cooker or do you just toss things in the microwave and super-charge them? Personally, I’m a little bit of both, but I have to learn to be patient with myself during those times when the microwave just won’t cut it.