Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Inspiration . . . Frustration!

Here's my mental picture prompt: a three-year-old boy's bed so loaded with toy trucks ( scads more than six ) there's no room for a child. Yet somehow he manages to sleep in that bed every night. What happens at night with the boy and the trucks on that bed/highway lit by a nightlight?

Must be a story there.

But where and what? I've been struggling with this story idea for two weeks. I've made a list of different kinds of trucks and given each a number of adjectives and sounds. I've jotted down possible relationships between them. I've tried to create a plot with a problem that's solved by the boy and the trucks working together.

And my results so far? A couple of weak, pedestrian stanzas. I'm stuck! (And I doubt changing my venue, as J.L. suggested in the previous post, would help.)

This was to have been a submission to the current Children's Writer contest for poetry or a verse story. I'm about to toss out hours of thought. On to the next idea.

Don't you hate it when this happens?


  1. How about the premise of a boy who nightly gets buried under the blankets and the trucks need to "dig" him out before morning. Every night this happens.

    How does that sound?

  2. It's crock-pot writing, Gale. Some ideas take longer to cook up. But when they're ready, they are oh, so tender!

  3. Matthew,
    Thanks for the suggestion, hm- m-m, worth considering.

    J. A.
    Would like to think this two week old dish would produce something delectable, but it may have cooked to mush.

  4. Maybe you're thinking too hard. Give it a rest.

    Have you ever tried to remember someone's name but it escapes you. Maybe you can remember the first letter of their name but you don't know how. Once you stop dwelling on it, the name almost pops out of your mouth.

    Good luck!
    Linda A.

  5. two weeks? Thought you were going to say "two years" Ha.

    I've been trying to write a truck story since 2006! :)

  6. Linda,
    Yes, I guess I should forget it for a while, go on to something else. Maybe that will provoke a solution?

    I, too, have ideas I've struggled with for years! For seven or so, I've been sporadically working on a story about a "big helper" who isn't a help.

  7. In a word...yes. I hate it when that happens...but it happens. One of the hardest lessons in this business is learning not every idea is a viable one, no matter how many hours (or years) you've spent on it.

    That said...I'd like to believe that no time spent working on something is wasted. Maybe this idea needs to germinate for awhile and could morph into something else entirely. I seem to remember a chair story you were having similar struggles with...and now it's on our sidebar!!

  8. There's only one solution to this problem: Keep on truckin'! Seriously, Gale, I have no doubt something great will come to you, probably right after you've pegged this idea as unworkable. Good luck.

  9. Robin and Janice,
    Thanks for reminding me that sometimes getting stuck can lead to getting unstuck.

    This morning I have an idea for another slant on the story and I'm off again. Some call it perseverance, but the simple word for that is stubborn!