They’re In the Ether

I watched an old interview with Rod Serling (Twilight Zone) a few years ago. Someone asked him where his ideas came from. He said they were everywhere. They were in the ether.

I love that description because, as any writer will tell you, sometimes story ideas just seem to materialize out of thin air. A word, a phrase, or a story title will just introduce itself and insist on being turned into a story. Aspiring writers are told they should always carry a small notebook to record those story seeds before they’re forgotten. If you aren’t doing this, you’re wasting ideas. I guarantee you won’t remember them or what inspired them in the time it takes you to get home. Maybe there’s an “app” for that. I don’t know. I’m still using a flip phone.

I’ve collected a lot of seeds that haven’t yet made their way into a story, but they are eventually transferred from my sloppy notebook to the index cards I keep in a little purple box. There’s a section for story lines, character names (never let an interesting name pass you by), story titles (sometimes the story is built around a title), and words or phrases I can work with later. No stress. It’s all there, waiting for me to sit down, pick one, and start making stuff up.

Blocked? Grab something out of the ether today. Jot it down. Then grab something else. There’s a story in there somewhere.