And now, in contrast to last week's entry, I get to write about something I'm plotting that's not going so well.
I think most writers, if not all of us, have been asked where they get their ideas. (I always say "the shower." It's true, and it throws people off.) Ideas can come from anywhere, and most of the stories I've told and plots I've worked with have come from combining several different ideas and seeing what works well when put together.
Since May or June or thereabouts, I've been attempting to plot something that's really different from what I usually write. And ye gods, it will not play nice and let me figure out what the hell it's actually supposed to be.
The story's origins come from hearing this song on the radio. Roses are important to me, so I scribbled down notes based on what came to mind when I listened to the song's lyrics. When I got home from work, I watched the video, and found it inspiring in unexpected ways. I noted all the weird phrases that appear in the video, and started to get some story ideas from thinking about what all those things could mean. I wrote everything down, of course, and my notes showed the first hints of forming a story.
That might be the last coherent bit of plotting I managed for this thing.
Since then, trying to figure out anything about this story has been like trying to pick up enormous spheres of Jell-o without damaging them while wearing Hulk Hands. I know that dream logic will be a significant factor in the story, as it's entirely possible that the whole thing takes place in someone or something's dream or in a dream realm. I know that the setting is supposed to be a school that's not a school, though exactly what it is fluctuates several times in the 2.5 pages' worth of story notes. And I know that things are going to get progressively weirder.
This is the kind of thing that makes me wish I could draw worth a damn, because most of what I can think of for this story is visuals, and I don't know how to fit them into words.
This is the sort of thing that scares me. I've planted the seeds of a story that I quite literally do not know how to tell. How do you show that a character has been completely forgotten, to the point where the remaining characters would never mention that person again because to them, the person never existed? Can you create a workable system of dream logic when dream logic only makes sense because you're dreaming, and would seem wildly inconsistent in text? And what does "The ways themselves may be asleep or awake" mean?
I wrote that in my notes - it came out of my head - and I have no idea what it means.
I know that I could be overthinking this; there's a reason some of my characters think about things too much, they get it from me. In most cases, I would just sit down and tell myself I was going to work on this particular plot, and that would be that. Most of the time, I can hash out where the story's supposed to go and what it's supposed to be with time and focus. But everything about this story eludes me. And that's why it bothers me so much.
I know I can't be the only one who's dealt with ideas like this. Commiseration time, anyone? :P