"Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don't see any." - Orson Scott Card
I don't know if I'd agree with the idea that seeing five or six story ideas a day means you're a good writer. Or if not seeing that many means you're ordinary. But, yeah, there are a myriad of story ideas out there in the world and we walk by them every day. Sometimes they're a passing fancy that comes to nothing. Other times they light a fire in a writer's heart and the only thing to do is sit down and start typing. Most times, they just stick long enough to put them into a file for later use.
My 'Writing Ideas' file is at 8 pages long - single spaced and set as bullet points, so I can separate one from another.
Some of them are just a kernel of an idea, like: Medical examiner w/ pet cadaver dog.
Some of them are fully fleshed. (No example because I don't want anyone to write my idea. Silly, but that's how I roll, baby.) A few of the fully-fleshed ones are now books - Fertile Ground, for one. Others are totally written, but haven't made it to book yet. Some are partially written stories that I really need to get back to.
Reading through the list the other day - when I stopped to put a new idea at the bottom - I realized I still want to write most of these ideas. Of course, I'd have to live to be 150.
And I get new ideas to add to the list, so I may never finish - even if I do live to be 150.
Of course, it would help if I was actually writing right now. Maybe reading through the ideas file will light a fire under my ass. We'll see.
Do you have an ideas file?