Ten writers for children. All with something to say.

11/3/09

Choosing the Biggest Fear Among Many

My fellow potatoes have described many fears that ring familiar with me, but perhaps none more than the fear that the “well has run dry” and I have used up all my good story ideas. The other fears – Are my characters believable and sympathetic? Is my plot contrived? Do I even have a plot? Am I just wasting my time? -- are manageable, to me, through the act of writing and revision. But the entire structure of a story rests on the original premise, the germ of an idea that must be unique enough to warrant the months of work it will take to develop it. That’s why, among certain writer friends of mine, when someone shares a great idea the rest of us congratulate him/her and then, inevitably, one of us utters the caveat: “If you don’t do something with it [the idea}, I will!” Though you cannot copyright ideas, and none of us would ever really “steal” someone else’s idea, it points out the value of such a rare and precious commodity. Luckily, I have enough “gems” to last me several years of writing (at the snail’s pace of my own production), but I am always on the lookout for new ideas to stash away for future use, hedging against the fear that someday the well will run dry….

4 comments:

Lauren said...

Mark,
From what I have learned about you and your life... I have no fear that your well will ever run dry! Sail on!

Christy said...

I hope you write about sailing sometime.

David LaRochelle said...

I've heard it said that there are only a limited number of story ideas, but that we each have a unique way of telling those ideas. That's a comfort when I fear that the idea I've come up with isn't original enough; if I tell it in the way that only I can, then it will be original.

Edie said...

Mark, with your adventurous sailing life, I can't imagine the well running dry! As Lauren said, sail on!