Tuesday, November 13, 2007

NaNoWriMo Day 13

The topic for today is ideas and inspiration. As I’ve said (written) before, there’s no such thing as “divine inspiration;” the perfect novel idea is NOT going to hit you out of the blue. You have to *look* for it. That means you have to 1) listen and 2) watch. There are ideas everywhere. All you have to do is listen to people and what they’re saying, keep your eyes open, and let your imagination do the rest. Case in point:

I was driving by a field the other day when I glanced over and saw a shoe. It was one shoe, in the field, all by itself. A tennis shoe, I think, and it was untied. So then I started thinking about that shoe and who it belonged to and how it ended up in the field. I went through a few scenarios in my mind: 1) Hispanic immigrant chasing a pick-up truck that would unknowingly take him out of the county (why was he leaving? He couldn’t pay his rent. His girlfriend’s father was after him. He’d killed a man, or at least he *thought* he killed him. Hmmm.). He lost his shoe just as he jumped onto the back of the truck and then it bounced into the field. Then there was 2) Man running through field because his girlfriend’s husband came home and chased him away with a shotgun, lost his shoe, and didn’t care to turn back to get it. And there was a third one that involved an argument in the car and it being taken off and thrown at the passenger (who ducked), causing it to fly out the window. See? All of that from a shoe.

Story ideas are everywhere—you just have to keep your eyes open and work on developing those ideas until they are worth writing down.

That, and I’m totally crazy. I am, really. The good news is: I’m still on track (and finally caught up) with the NaNo Novel.

Time: 4:05pm

20,447: number of NaNo words written
29,553: number of words to go!

We’re about to hit the halfway mark!


Derek Burress said...

Another possibility: Since I have came across a few shoes in the field myself, if it is the sole of the shoe, the shoe most likely belonged to a colored sharecropper back in the 40's or 50's.

In a lot of fields around here, there used to be old houses where the sharecroppers would stay. They would get burned down and destroyed and whatever was left would be buried. A lot of those old shoes these days are just starting to come back to the top of the surface after being plowed over several times a year.

Plus you have to remember also, we didn't have landfills and stuff back then. We used to throw what little trash we had out in the chicken pens and other places and burn what was left over. Of course, we didn't have much trash back then as we do now either.

Leigh Brescia said...

Derek: History Majors Rule!