Wednesday, 1 September 2010
The Idea That Floats Out There Somewhere
That little seed of an idea floats its way over to you-- you get a feeling, you get a character, you get a journey, you get a problem. Do you grab at it now? Do you throw it down on paper? Or do you let it grow? If you let it grow will you forget something? If you write it down will you stop the process unfolding naturally in you?
You get this strange sense that this feeling you have, that is shaped by an idea in your head and a beat in your heart; you feel this could be the script you're meant to write. But these ideas disappear so fast-- it's hard to know, are they really there? Do you really know what they mean? Do you know how to write them?
This idea in your head is perfect. It's only about seven seconds long. It's not even a film, or a script; it's not even really an idea - it's just an impulse.. but it's beautifully formed. And the minute you trap it, hold it, or grab it; something gets lost. So what to do with this wonderful idea?
I guess that's the eternal question. How, as writers, do we give them ideas space, and at the same time put them where they belong on the page? It's a lifelong challenge, and we rarely get it right.