Random Ideas Folder


I’m sure most writers have one of these. A folder on their computer, or a notebook or something, that’s devoted to nothing else but random bits of ideas. Something that may or may not turn into books someday. Or at least short stories. Or scenes.

Lately I seem to have been adding more and more to my random ideas folder, opening a word document and writing a paragraph or two of a character that’s jumped into my mind or just an idea that’s hung around enough that I think, “Maybe that could work…”

I don’t know where these little ideas come from. I think part of it might be from writing shorts over at Tales From the Hollow Tree, and getting used to that. Part of it is undoubtedly from reading books and descriptions of books I want to read… Some of it is pure daydream. Some of it I know I’ll never, ever write. But some of it, maybe.

The most important thing about these little flashes of ideas? Is to write them down. If you don’t, they may disappear on the wind, and as Regina Spektor tells us in her fabulous song “Bon Idée,” “ideas that left will never come back home.”

Write it down. Put it somewhere where you can stumble across it again. When you do, it may hit you with entirely new and fresh meaning. You might see that scribbled half-sentence and suddenly see an entire novel surrounding it. It happens. Don’t short-sell yourself by letting them get away before they have the chance to develop into something.

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6 thoughts on “Random Ideas Folder

  1. I have an ever-expanding ideas folder. I like to daydream and brainstorm. It doesn’t matter that I won’t get to most of them. The ones that are good will jump off of the page just begging to be written. It’s a great exercise. Thanks for sharing.

    • I agree Lois. The great ones let you know that they’re great… the rest… well maybe they’ll go be written by somebody else. ;)

    • I have a freereads blog where a friend and I post short stories, but I don’t personally care to blog every little bit of writing I write. I can’t really see the point in it, especially when even I don’t know where that bit is going, when I know it has the potential to go somewhere. Why post something that isn’t ready to be seen?

  2. I keep a notebook in my purse, another in my work bag, one in the car, and have an ever growing file on my computer. I love looking through the snippets when I get stuck in writing just to jumpstart creativity.

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