“The road to hell is paved with good intentions,” as the saying goes. Well, I know my own road certainly is. When I get a great story idea, one that hits me in my guts and makes me hyperventilate, my intention is to write a good, rip-roaring tale about that idea. The trouble is, I almost never get there from here. I can carry a plot through to its logical conclusion, I can make it exciting and thrilling, but the finished product always seems to bear no resemblance at all to the idea I started with. I’m not referring to the normal changes of the creative process, I am talking about starting with skyscrapers or cheeseburgers or skiing in Colorado and ending up with a story about volcanoes, sea urchins, or Gothic cathedrals – it’s that much of a gap between my original idea and the end point.
Do other writers do it this way, or is it just me? I don’t know, but it’s next to impossible for me to finish a work with the same idea I started. But, as I have discovered and as Martha Stewart might say, this is a GOOD thing. Not only is my creativity enhanced, but that same starting idea can be recycled more than once, a sort of conservation of initial ideas, I suppose.
Waffles. To date, I’ve gotten two short stories and one novel out of waffles. The next time I am stuck for a fresh idea I will start with waffles again and see where they take me. Perhaps one day I will write a short story or a book that is actually about waffles, but for now those tasty treats serve as a jumping-off place for better things.