Stephen King's got the right formula
I'm reading On Writing by Stephen King, his memoir about how he developed as a writer. This morning, I read the part where he came up with his idea for Carrie , which is still one of the scariest books I've ever read.
King worked as a high school janitor while in college, and one of his jobs was to clean the girls' locker room. He was intrigued with machines that sold the feminine hygiene products and the showers in the locker rooms; this was the budding seed of his idea for the novel.
Later, as a teacher, he was hired to help move some furniture by a parent of a student~a homely, unlikeable young woman who was in one of his classes. As he was moving the furniture, he saw a very graphic crucifixion of Jesus. He thought about the student and how it must be to grow up in a household with that depiction of Christ constantly (and literally) hanging over your head.
He put the pieces together and wrote the beginning to Carrie. If you've read the novel, you see the parts of the whole.
That process is how I TRY to think, but I'm not always sure that I get the right pieces together.
Or, perhaps, I just don't sit down and write the first few pages of that novel.
Sometimes, I'm intrigued or interested in the idea at first, but later lose interest in it.
I've begun probably ten novels in my 51 years, none have come to fruition. My latest idea is one for an erotic novel (because they seem to sell), but I can't get past developing the three main characters.
I'm interested to finish King's book to see how he goes about the drudgery of writing.
How do you write? Where do you get your ideas? Have you written a novel? Do you hope to write a novel?