The Hoarder

Scribes June 12, 2013
Thea Devine today, and I am the hoarder (can I get a tv show off of this?). I hoard my ideas. I will not share. My ideas and the tangents they take are mine. They are a product of my thinking, my intuition, my interests, my imagination, and things uniquely skewed to my perspective. When once it was suggested that a group of us share ideas we never intended to use, I was adamantly against it. How did I know I’d never use them? I didn’t, and even if I didn’t, I saw no reason to share them.

Now you can make a case that nobody writes the same story even if they’re basing it on the same idea. I do believe this is true, but we’re not talking merely loglines here, we’re talking paragraphs and page-long stream-of-conscious concepts and high concepts, character and scenic description, snippets of conversation, incidents that I’ve witnessed or overheard, words and phrases, titles, log lines, tags, opening paragraphs and opening pages, brief synopses, and all kinds of things that might be useful somewhere, sometime.

My idea file is like a treasure chest. Sometimes I go back and review everything I’ve written in those files — years worth, things I might have forgotten, things that are a key to something else I’ve written or I’m writing now, things I want to work on that rereading them gives me fresh incentive, titles I’ve forgotten, characters I should write about, lives I want to explore fictionally, things I will not share.

Is this selfish? I make no apologies. And I ask you to really think about it: how do you feel about your ideas? Do you keep them to yourself? Do you share? Am I being not only selfish, but unfair?

Thea Devine is working on a contemporary erotic romance. She’s USAToday best-selling the author of 27 erotic contemporary and historical romances and a dozen novellas.

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9 thoughts on “The Hoarder”

  1. Maybe your correct Thea, but I’m still insecure and want the input of an experienced and seasoned writer, so I share a brief synopses to see if I’m totally insane or just many I have a story someone else might want read. But your right, I think we all keep our treasure chest of ideas and characters tuck away some place safe. Thanks for your Blog Thea, I always look forward to yours.

  2. I don’t like to share ideas either. I really don’t want to hear anybody else’s opinion until it’s all done and I want to make it better. Bonnie, I think you need to write whatever you are going to write with conviction, even if it’s crazy.idea.

  3. I’m a sharer…sometimes an over-sharer, LOL.I love to brainstorm ideas. Hearing someone else’s spin on the grain of one of my ideas can often make it evolve into something new and even more wonderful than I had even imagined. If i’m stuck on something in my story, brainstorming with my writer pals, my husband, or even a friend who is not a writer, can open doors in my mind to places I never thought to go.

  4. Thea, you are not alone. I don’t share ideas or pages of my work until the entire novel is done. And then the story goes, first, to my trusty beta readers (who are not writers) for feedback. I just don’t want anyone’s opinions (even those that are helpful suggestions) to interfere with my creative process.

  5. Thanks, everyone. I’m caretaking my grandson this week, so I can only post during naptime — like, now. So interesting to know others feel as I do. Of course, there is no one right way to approach this notion. And certainly, I help as much as I can, even spinning ideas if asked. Just not mine. Maybe it’s generational?

    thea

  6. Generational indeed. I don’t believe it for a moment, with all your ideas with so many published books, your ideas are out there for all to see. You can’t hide Thea, and besides, you are one of the most generous, kind, helpful writers in the whole world. So there!!!

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