Connecting the Dots

I’m used to writing fanfiction, and my current story is an elaboration on canon.  So I was already given a beginning and an end along with the setting and the characters.  The dots were already there, I just had to connect them.  Original fiction is much more difficult because you start with nothing.  You have to make up the dots and then connect them.  I have never had a problem coming up with ideas for fanfiction, but for original fiction I’m struggling.  I don’t want to start an original novel till I finish my fanfic one or I won’t make significant progress on either.  For right now, I’m just working on short stories or one-shots.  I actually have a book of great short stories by many of literature’s greatest authors, so I’m going to read through that, and hopefully I’ll get more ideas.

I have a few story ideas, but they are pretty rough around the edges currently.

  1. I was planning on writing a short story about a soldier from Afghanistan and he comes down with PTSD.  Later he is diagnosed with early onset dementia, and he struggles to cope.  I wanted him to have hallucinations, and that would work if he had Lewy body dementia, but I think that type of dementia is relatively rare in young adults?
    1. I know very little about PTSD and I need to research it.
    2. Figure out how someone in their 30s gets dementia.
    3. I’m not sure if I should start the fic with the soldier getting blown up (cause of PTSD) or if I should start the fic in the doctor’s office when he’s getting diagnosed with dementia.  If I started it with him getting blown up I would probably use stream of consciousness to write it because he would be fading in and out.  But then I would need to write the interim between that and him getting diagnosed with dementia, which would be difficult.  Maybe he could have flashbacks or nightmares in the present?
  2. A man in solitary confinement who descends into madness
    1. I know very little about solitary confinement or the reason people get thrown in there.  I want to write a likeable character that people can empathize with, which is difficult to create in this situation.  He needs to do something bad enough to get put into solitary confinement, but not be a psychopath.  I was thinking of someone wrongly convicted for murder, and then he gets dragged into a prison fight.
    2. Because I know very little about solitary confinement I need to research it.  I found a site that has stories from actual inmates who were in solitary confinement.  I also found a very lengthy 24 page research paper on the subject and the psychological ramifications.
    3. That’s all I have XD  I discussed it with a writer friend and she asked me for the rest of the story.  I said, that’s it, isn’t it enough?  And she told me it would be a very short short story, lol.  So I was thinking of also including the period after solitary confinement, and his inability to reintegrate into society.
  3. Bleeding Heart 2
    1.  So it would be easy to add a second part to the short piece I already wrote.  I wanted to write a meeting between the mom and Jenny.  After the meeting she could finally move on from her son’s death.

I’ll probably just start writing story idea #2 and seeing where it takes me.  Or maybe I’ll have a whole new set of ideas in a few days, and I’ll write that instead.  I remember when I was in high school and had trouble starting essays my mom told me to just start writing, and that eventually I would figure it out.  It worked then, so I guess it would work now?  I just realized most of these stories have to do with mental or physical illness.  I guess I like writing about those things because they are filled with angst.  I love reading and writing angst XD    I have also struggled a lot with my health, so I’m more empathetic to characters struggling with mental or physical illness.  My fanfiction novel is fantasy, and I love writing fantasy, but I just don’t have any ideas for fantasy short stories, not now at least :/  I have an idea for a fantasy novel, but short stories and one-shots are very different.  Outside of fanfiction, I haven’t read any short fantasy stories, only novels.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s