Never let an idea slip away. There are times when you sit in front of your computer screen or a piece of paper and all it does is stare blankly back at you. There are also times where you're nowhere near a computer or piece of paper and an idea pops into your head and you suddenly realize that you have no way of recording it before it dissolves into the creative ether again. That is why, much to my wife's chagrin, that I always have my BlackBerry close at hand. Good ideas can be hard to come by and when they do it's almost a crime to let them get away or become forgotten. When an idea pops into my head or a line of dialogue comes to mind, I either make a voice note of it or I type it into the phone.
The same scenario played out this past week while I was having a chat with my daughter and watching some TV. She was watching one of her Disney shows and a commercial came on publicizing a new show. She turned to me and stated that every show now has a portal of some sort in it. I agreed and told her that one of my favorite shows, The Flash uses them, I have them in my Chronokari books, and that they've been around in some fashion for a very long time. I told her about The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and even Alice in Wonderland as examples of literary classics that involve portals that lead to another world.
Our conversation led me to think of a way that I could use the portals in Chronokari Alpha for comedic effect. I reached for my phone, made a note of it and then expanded on the idea later that evening. I thanked my daughter for sparking the idea and had a few chuckles thinking about how to incorporate it in an upcoming Chronokari adventure.
My uncle Carl once gave me some good writing advice: Never throw away an idea. You can always come back to it. It appears he was right. Whether it's a small idea or a big one. Or whether you love it at first or think it's horrible, hang onto those thoughts and keep them close. They may just turn out to be the gems you need to make your next piece of writing special.