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The File

| August 11, 2014 | 0 Comments

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How many of you have lived this scenario:

You wake up from a dream that was chock full of good ideas. However, you don’t record it, you don’t write it down. “I’ll remember it,” you think. “That idea was just too good!” And an hour later, it’s gone.

You’re in the shower. You get a great idea. You’re soaking wet. You can’t write it down. “I’ll remember it,” you think. “That idea was just too good!” By the time you’ve dried and dressed, it’s gone.

You’re out shopping. You get a great idea. You have a way to record it, but you don’t want to write over your list, or be seen speaking intently into your phone. “I’ll remember it,” you think. “That idea was just too good!” By the time you pay for the groceries and get back to the car, it’s gone.

Those are just variations of the same thing. Basically, you get a good idea, don’t write it down, and lose it.

The best way to combat this is to create a file.

It’s just a file for ideas. Get a snippet? A thought? Get it down any way you can, as soon as you can, and when you have time, put it in the file.

The file itself doesn’t have to be pretty. It doesn’t have to have rhyme or reason. It’s just a repository for your ideas. You don’t even need to flesh the idea out. You’re just putting it in the file for later, so that it’ll be there as a reminder when you have more time to devote to it.

My file isn’t huge. I lose a lot of stuff, because I don’t write it down. (I do say them out loud, though, or tell my wife. I find the act of saying it out loud helps to cement it in my head longer.) The stuff that’s in it, though, jogs my memory, and I think about the idea and the directions I can take it. And then I can start fleshing the idea out some, getting more information down, embellishing it, seeing if the idea that was so “great” is actually worth pursuing. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t. But just because an entire mini can’t be made from the story doesn’t mean it wouldn’t make a good oneshot, or be part of something larger.

The file is important. It can be used to keep all the snippets and parts that don’t fit anywhere. It doesn’t matter what you put in it, just as long as you start to use it. It’s going to come in handy.

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Category: Columns, The Daily Dose

About the Author ()

Steven is an editor/writer with such credits as Fallen Justice, the award nominated The Standard, and Bullet Time under his belt, as well as work published by DC Comics. Between he and his wife, there are 10 kids (!), so there is a lot of creativity all around him. Steven is also the editor in chief and co-creator of ComixTribe, whose mission statement is Creators Helping Creators Make Better Comics. If you're looking for editing, contact him at stevedforbes@gmail.com for rate inquiries.

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