How can a regular person, such as myself, take the spark of an idea and build it into the burning flame of a great story?
I've seen that spark cross my path on several occasions. I've found them in dreams, in conversations, in my daily life and even in the view from my car window. Sometimes, they just flit though my mind, a flicker behind my eyes, impossible to grasp. Other times, I am able to reach in and grab it in my hand. I pull it out and watch it dance across my fingertips and that's when I gasp and smile because...I know, in my heart of hearts, there's a story here...
I need to nurture it so I provide a setting, a theme.
I need to sustain it so I feed it a plot and a catalyst.
I need to shape it so I fill it with people and places.
I need to mature it so I offer it the details: descriptions, histories, emotions, relationships, etc.
I need to protect it so I surround it with a beginning, a middle, an end.
Then, when it's finally ready, I share it with strangers, laying it bare along with my heart.
Will it be a lasting flame? A story that invites you into its depths, tugging at you to come along. A story you find you are now a part of, invested in the outcome. As you savor the journey, and speed through the climax, a sigh escapes you as the story concludes and you know things have changed. Not in any life altering way. Just a feeling that you are different somehow for having experienced this tale. A great story can give you that connection, a link the storyteller gets to share as well.
Will it just crash and burn? No lasting effects at all? Just a moment in time. Possibly entertaining some of you, but only briefly. My greatest fear would be to find I have turned the spark into this.
These are the thoughts that go through my mind as I cradle this spark within my hands, hoping I act fast enough to keep it from fading away because...I know, in my heart of hearts, there's a story here...