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Story ideas are like dandelion seeds. Beautiful, ephemeral, ubiquitous. They float past you in the breeze, each one capable of growing into a sweet, edible, irresistible flower. Or not.

For the only fertile ground for a story idea is a storyteller, and not just any storyteller, but one willing and able to spend the time to embody it with words, and perhaps with rhyme or music or a bit of paint.

If an idea-seed drifts by while I'm at work, or too sick or tired to catch it and plant it in the word processor, and then water it with my attention and time--or at least to jot notes down on some scrap of paper--it's probably gone. A few seeds might catch in my hair or clothes, so there's some chance I could retrieve them later (though, of course, those might just end up laundered into generic mush or trapped in the hairbrush to languish, invisible and untended, until they fade into nothingness).

No matter, dandelions are always going to seed, so there's always new story ideas.

But are all those seeds equal?

I'm not sure how to answer that. Once I would have been certain some were gems, some rocks, and some mere lumps of coal. But I've seen people take seeds I was sure were lumps of coal and make fabulous stories from them. So maybe none of them are inherently duds.

Or maybe it's that the idea is just a starting point; a story is made of so much more than the little bit in the seed. And if you don't add enough to the seed, the results are shallow, one-dimensional. Maybe that's why, in the Muse Fusion events, many of my most successful stories have grown from a handful of the story-seeds offered by our readers, rather than just one.

But still, those initial inspirations are precious to this Dandelyon. So next time you see a dandelion, white head all ready to send fairy-seeds into the world, take a moment to blow them into the air and think of me.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Jul. 7th, 2010 08:06 am (UTC)
I liked this, using dandelyon seeds as metaphors for stories. I'll think about you when I next see a dandelyon. :)
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )


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