A few minutes ago I had an idea for this post. I know I know – it is not good to have two posts in a row that talk about ideas or lack of same.
Actually in general ideas are fairly easy to come by. I think if you’re serious about writing you will probably find this to be true. Of course having an idea, or a concept, is no guarantee of turning it into a workable story. Sometimes when writing I hit a brick wall with writing because I lack a certain piece of knowledge. And finding out some information can be very difficult.
I’ll tell you one idea I had a while ago in a bit – but first let me destroy a concept that some people have. Giving a writer an idea does not mean you have done a significant part of the job. It is the tiniest part of the whole thing. For instance the concept of a TV series like ER or Casualty is quite straight forward – the drama of hospitals – life or death – and the drama of the staff too. To write that? You have to lean so many details of diseases, treatments, and so on and so on.
When starting to think of a TV series I have heard two, in a broad generalisation, ways a show can be pitched. The first is to say that your idea is this meets that. Deep Space Nice could, arguably, be a western meets space opera. A workable metaphor. Sisko is the mayor, Odo the sheriff, Quark runs the saloon/brothel, you get the idea. The second way to pitch is the what if question. The TV series The Man in the High Castle, based on a book, is: ‘What if we last the war.’ It is a quick way to explain an idea.
So here’s my idea: What if a Roman Legion, or other primitive society, discovered advanced alien technology.
To me this idea has great potential. Romans were advanced for their time and it would be interesting to explore what they would do if the galaxy was opened up to them.
However to write this story would be so difficult. I know very little about Roman culture, tactics, cuisine, and so on. I think the Legate, in charge of the legion, discovered this technology he would probably use it to take over the Empire.
This could be an excellent story, if I do say so myself, but writing it might be beyond me.
Although, now that I think about it, maybe there is another way. Maybe I don’t have to be historically accurate. Maybe I could invent my own pre-industrial society and work with that – but an idea does not a story make.
I just wanted to say that I have checked this post. I really have. Unfortunately my particular combination of dyslexia and dyspraxia makes it really hard for me to spot typos. Please enjoy and I’ll try not to make too many errors.
The pictures here are from: https://www.pexels.com/
One response to “I’m Pretty Sure I Had an Idea a Second Ago”
An interesting post. I agree. I had an idea for a novel many years ago and wrote a few chapters, but I don’t know how to develop it beyond the idea. The idea—or the revelation of it—would need to come through in the final chapter – but how to get to there!?