Where do you get your ideas?

A writer relives moments, paring, shifting elements from here to there, shaping a narrative where parts appear in succession–understandable, available, gliding into the story. A writer chooses gems of emotion and picks the settings  to display those jewels to advantage. Polishing the facets can take the sting away, rubbing, rubbing at the rough edges, at the bits and pieces of untidy feelings threatening to catch the fine weave of passing time. The contrast between the writing of  words and their reading later on is the difference between the green of spring and the sere brown of autumn. That leaching of emotion limits the fallout, makes it possible to move the pieces around until the arrangement is manageable.

None of that gets to the driving force behind writing, especially if it is fiction. Escape is the thing…escape from what was and a doorway into what could have been. What should have been. The product of a fervent if only is the first level of foundation in a structure of lies. And yet the goal is to to find the truth. The purpose is to explain, if only to oneself, why something happened just that way, through deliberate actions following accidents of fate. The need to handle the pieces produces plot and action. The desire for reaction creates characters and their attributes. When all the elements have mixed together, the race is toward the aha! moment. Everything that’s gone before comes together, is tied with a bow.

But the bow becomes untied. The balloons lose their helium, the confetti is vacuumed into oblivion. The writer finds another story, another moment to be relived, to be dissected, to be rearranged. There’s another truth to be discovered and marveled over until all the pieces come together in pursuit of the aha!  And the exploration of the swamp continues.