First things first, HAPPY EASTER! Enjoy the chocolate and the bunnies, and the chocolate bunnies, and did I mention the chocolate?
The real reason I’m here is because it struck me the other day how incredibly odd inspiration can be. It can attack at any moment, including the wrong moment. It can hit suddenly, or take a long, long time to develop. This is what sparked my post:
I had an idea for a short YA story a few years ago, but I could not get it to work. The concept is unusual and I was fairly sure it could be a great story, but the characters were not clear enough and I couldn’t figure out how to get them from Point A (the beginning) to Point B (the end). I set the story aside for a few months and worked on other projects. Eventually I found the story again, and decided that perhaps it would work better if the characters were in a relationship, but this wouldn’t gel either, and they never quite felt right for the scenario. I put the story aside again and worked on other projects (again).
Years later, I’m playing a stint of Skyrim on the PS4 one evening to unwind and BAM. Inspiration strikes. The characters are in my head and instead of a budding relationship they are best friends. Plus one of them is missing. Suddenly the story drew together; I knew what my protagonist’s motivation was, and I knew the lengths she would go to achieve her goals.
This all happened two nights ago. I now have 3000 word first draft of a YA dark fantasy with a few areas that still need expansion. The first full draft will probably top between 3500-4000 words. I plan to finish it by the end of tomorrow and begin edits later next week.
This story has been years in the making, and it will only be up to 4k words, which is a reasonably short story in the grand scheme of things. My point being, sometimes stories are slow burns. They won’t unfold overnight, they won’t draw together into a neat bow at first, and sometimes it will be tempting to discard them altogether. Writer frustration is a real thing, yo. But perhaps hold off on deleting stories that won’t work, because some day, weeks, months, or years down the line, they just might come together out of the blue.