Random objects, unplanned situations, snippets of conversations, and fragmented thoughts stir my imagination. Empty picture frames always get my wheels turning. I assume they once held a special image. Did the pink one surround a photo of a novice ballerina in her first tutu? Perhaps a soothing watercolor of an ancient cypress tree draped in a seductive veil of Spanish moss filled the interior of a matching green frame. And the ornate gilt square elevated the importance of small oil painting reflecting the tentative strokes of an artist’s self-portrait.
Pristine pages in a leather-bound journal, a sterile word document, and reams of boring snow-white copy paper elicit similar responses. Far from being daunting or creating fear, a blank page challenges my wildest fantasies and my amateurish abilities. Endless possibilities arise, each tale vies for my consideration, and I must decide. I close my eyes and start typing. Once I begin, I am compelled, driven by a duty to create the best story I can produce, and a powerful desire to finish. I owe a debt to the novel ideas which I did not choose. They haunt me.
As they slink about in my brain, demanding my attention, they grow. Their themes, plots, and characters become more vivid. The settings coalesce, details are refined, and a unique world takes shape. The cardboard individuals inhabiting those scenes blossom into proper people with wants, needs, goals, and interesting points of view. They gang up on me, spur me forward, and demand I complete my current work so they may have their turn.
How do your stories develop?
Keep on writing.
Jo Hawk The Writer