Posts Tagged ‘idea fragments’

17th century engraving of a bicorn and chichevache, courtesy of Wikipedia.

You ever come across something in your day-to-day life–a historical event, a movie with an interesting premise or character, a conversation that goes into weird tangents, etc.–and you think to yourself, “I want to write a story around that!” Chances are you have. And chances are you’ve sometimes struggled just to come up with that story based on whatever you’ve run into.

That happens to me all the time. I’ve got a huge list of potential bases for stories–my “idea fragments”–on my flash drive, over two-hundred bases, and only about half of them have been turned into ideas. I’ve been known to obsess over these fragments for weeks or months until I come up with something for them. And I’m obsessing over my most recent fragment quite a lot these days: the bicorn and chichevache.

Now, for those of you who don’t know much about obscure monsters from the Middle Ages (pretty much everyone), the bicorn and the chichevache are kind of the polar opposites of unicorns (the names of all three, by the way, are French in origin). They both have two horns, and are sometimes described as cow-like chimeras, though more recent depictions tend to show them as horses with two horns curved like a bull’s. The difference between the two is what they eat (and keep in mind, these creatures normally featured in satirical works. So remember, someone or their attitudes were being made fun of with these descriptions). Bicorns ate kind and devoted husbands and were often depicted as fat to the point of obese, while chichevaches went after virtuous and obedient wives and were therefore thin and starving.

Remember, this was probably meant to poke fun of someone. I’m guessing medieval views of men vs. women. This also goes against the depiction of the unicorn, a one-horned horse or goat that affirms purity, usually by letting a virtuous maiden pet or ride them. You know, instead of destroying them by eating them.

I first came across the bicorn in an anime I was watching, and was curious enough to do a little research. Thus I came across the bicorn’s counterpart, the chichevache, and then the creative fires were lit. This was back in October. And I still can’t think of a damn story for the creatures!

So far I’ve cast aside revenge stories, a story where someone uses to prove that certain people in their community aren’t as upstanding as they thought, and a few others. I’ve tweaked the myth a bit here and there to make the creatures more viable in the 21st century, and I’ve focused on just one or the other. Nothing’s clicked so far. They don’t feel original enough, or fun enough, or like the sort of story I would write. I want a story that is different from the other stuff out there. If it feels too much like another story, what’s the point of writing it in the first place?

Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to come up with the story, and I’m stubborn enough to keep at it till something sticks. Immersing myself in a book or TV show or audio book; working on Toyland (or, if I need a break from that, a short story idea I have in reserve); doing some other activity; or just enjoying life. Just living my life, I come across new things everyday. Perhaps something will cross my path and make my idea fragment into a full story idea. Preferably before someone else writes a story about the creatures and makes any of my ideas pointless, that is.

In the meantime, what do you do when you can’t come up with a story for an idea fragment? And have you heard of the bicorn and the chichevache before?

And while you’re still here, are you still looking for something for the lover of the macabre and the weird in your life this holiday season? If yes, might I recommend my very own novel, Rose? When Rose Taggert wakes up in a greenhouse with no memory of how she got there, she soon finds her life, and her body, irrevocably changed. Thus begins a Kafkaesque nightmare of intrigue, magic and violence as Rose fights not just for the truth, but for her own survival. Available now in ebook and paperback from Amazon (and soon to be available from Audible in audiobook form). Links are below.

That’s all for now, my Followers of Fear. Until next time, pleasant nightmares!

Rose: Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada

It’s Friday, so you know what that means. It’s #FirstLineFriday! And it’s the 52nd #FirstLineFriday on this blog, a full year of doing these posts. That’s either an achievement to be admired or cause to worry about how I spend my life. I hope it’s the first one.

So if you’re unfamiliar with what #FirstLineFriday is, let me explain it to you. On Fridays, you:

  1. Create a post on your blog entitled #FirstLineFriday, hashtag and all.
  2. Explain the rules like I’m doing now.
  3. Post the first one or two lines of a potential work, a work-in-progress, or a completed or published work.
  4. Invite feedback from your readers and encourage them to try #FirstLIneFriday on their own blogs (tagging is encouraged but not necessary).

This week is another entry that doesn’t belong to any particular story. I’ve been turning over this idea for a potential novel in my head, so this could be a potential opening for it, but even if it isn’t, it would make a great opening to some story, I’m sure. Enjoy:

The grind and roar of heavy machines was loud enough to be heard outside the factory, but within the workers were barely aware of it. Not that they didn’t know there were machines making loud noises around them, they were just so used to the noise that they hardly noticed it anymore.

Thoughts? Errors in writing it out? Let’s discuss.

And while you’re at it, why not try #FirstLineFriday yourself on your own blog? It’s easy, fun, and for storytellers it’s a great way to try new openings. In fact, I think I’ll tag someone. Let’s see…I choose Richard Leis! Congrats, you get to do a #FirstLineFriday post this week or next. Have fun and make sure to link back to me when you do.

That’s all for now. Expect more posts from me this weekend. After all, only five days till Video Rage comes out! Have a great weekend, my Followers of Fear, and I’ll see you next time.

It’s Friday again, so you know what that means. It’s #FirstLineFriday!

Now if you’re unfamiliar with #FirstLineFriday, this is a weekly ritual I’ve been doing on my blog for quite a while now. Here are the rules: On each Friday, you;

  1. Create a post on your blog entitled #FirstLineFriday, hashtag and all.
  2. Explain the rules like I’m doing now.
  3. Post the first one or two lines of a potential story, a story in progress, or a completed or published work.
  4. Ask your readers for feedback, and encourage them to try #FirstLineFriday on their own blogs (tagging is optional but effective).

This week’s entry is from an idea for a novel I had last week. My dad and I were on a road trip up to Michigan to visit my grandfather. On the way back, we were listening to NPR, and one of the stories we listened to inspired an idea for a story to go with an idea fragment I’ve been turning over in my head for some time now. Please excuse the profanity, but I really wanted to get the character’s mood across. Enjoy:

Steve stared at the email in his inbox before exploding in a fit of rage. “FUUUUUUUUUCK!”

What are your thoughts? Are they any errors I should fix? Let me know in the comments below.

And while you’re at it, why not try #FirstLineFriday on your own blog? It’s a lot of fun, and for authors it’s great practice trying different openings.

And once again, I’m tagging someone. This week I’m going with one of my new Followers: Kathy Lauren from A View to a Book! You now have to do #FirstLineFriday this week or next! Hope you have fun doing it.

That’s all for now, my Followers of Fear. If there’s anything to update you on this weekend, I’ll make sure to let you know. Until next time,have a great weekend.

I just published the other article I wanted to write before I started working on Rose. How to Deal with Idea Fragments is exactly how it sounds: tips on working with characters, concepts, or images that could be great stories but you don’t have enough material yet to really call it an idea. I took a lot of the material for this article from personal experience, and I’m hoping that it proves very helpful to writers¬†everywhere who may struggle with these fragments on occasion.

Go check out the article when you have a moment. And if you get a moment, why not check out the rest of the website? Self-Published Authors Helping Other Authors is a fantastic blog from independent writers, by independent writers, and for independent writers. There, you can find articles on writing, editing, publishing and marketing, all without having to use a big publishing company. I’ve found it extremely helpful in the past, and I’m sure you will too.

That’s all for now. I’m going to try to get some work done on Rose today. I actually started work on the third draft late last night, and while I didn’t make a lot of progress, I at least started the process. Hopefully I can get it a little further along today, right my Followers of Fear?