Swoon Author Alyssa Brandon: The Idea vs. The Process
Whenever I tell people about having written a book and that I’m working on another one, one of the first things people ask me is "Where do you get your ideas?"
I think this is a question writers (and other creative folks) get asked a lot and while it’s fun to talk to people about how an idea for a story took shape, it often feels like people believe having a good idea is the most important thing for being a writer.
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Don’t get me wrong, having a vivid imagination and a brain that thinks up weird scenarios that insist you must Google things that would make anyone checking your web history think you’re a serial killer or trying to create mutant unicorns, is a plus.
But being a writer is about a lot more than just that fun idea. It’s hours spent developing said idea, writing, editing, rewriting and then rewriting again. Only we don’t talk a much about that bit. I guess because it’s hard to explain how the writing process works to a non-writer.
So more often than not, I end up talking about where I did get my idea rather than all the hard work that actually made Bound to You into an actual book. Which is fine. People like hearing about how a few small ideas became a book.
But maybe we should talk more about the hard (but rewarding) process of actually writing a book. Because I think a lot of people are a bit daunted by the prospect of even attempting it.
Why do I think this? Well, because another question I get asked a lot is, "I have this idea…blablabla idea blablabla….do you think it would make a good book?"
A lot of the times the ideas are pretty damned good or fun or different. But when I ask the person if they’ve actually written anything they tell me they’re just about to start. Then I ask the next time we meet and they still haven’t had the time to do it (or they tried but couldn’t find a way to start).
This is why I often find hearing my friends (and just random people online) tell me their story ideas, makes me a little sad. Because so many of them aren’t ever going to put their pen to paper and attempt to make it into something more.
I’m never going to get to read their (quite possibly) amazing book.
Which takes me to the whole, “We should talk about more of the process than just the idea.” Because maybe then more people would have the knowledge of how it works. Maybe it would help give them the tools (and the courage) to turn their amazing ideas into books. Into stories that they could share with the world.
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