Sunday, January 8, 2012

Fantasy or Reality?

Clay vases author purchased in 
Kota Bharu, Malaysia

Happy New Year! I wish I could claim credit for the following inspired thoughts. I heard this discussion on talk radio a long time ago, took notes and posted it on my bulletin board. While cleaning up my office recently, I discovered my notes and thought how perfect for the start of the New Year. It goes something like this . . .

There are four stages in the transformation of an idea . . . into reality:

1) Fantasy Stage (dream an idea). This is the soaring stage where you let your imagination go the limit. It sends me running to my computer or notepad to jot down an interesting character, a plot or funny incident before I forget. No editing, nothing pretty--just get it down. Sometimes it's a newspaper clipping, a picture, something someone says, or even a dream I've had that inspires me. 

Enjoy this phase and only share it with fellow dreamers, for only they will understand. This is your creative time.

2) Clay Stage. Ask yourself, what are the things that need to be done to develop your idea? What are the things I can feasibly do today, tomorrow, and this year? Seek the advice of others but only from helpful entrepreneurs. This is hard butt-busting work, but I love this stage. This is where I take a serious look at an idea, expand it into possible chapters and characters, and begin to work out the intricacies of plot, conflict, character development, and theme. I enjoy the research and the process.  

This is where a dream takes shape, like clay in a mold. 

3) Firing Stage. This can be scary. Here your dream is finally put to the test. Be brave and courageous. You may find yourself returning to the clay stage, but always keep your eyes focused on the dream--the ultimate goal. Inch forward (if that is all you can do).  This is where I finally bare my underbelly to fellow writers to check my progress. It is the hardest stage of all for me. Did I do what I intended to do? Do they like what I've written, or is it back to the drawing board to edit, revise and try again? For me the temptation is to stay in the security of the clay stage. 

Don't give up, because the next stage is just around the corner. 

 4) Finishing Stage. The submission stage . . . another challenge for sure, with query letters and finding an agent or a publisher, but this time you have a product in hand!


I'm in the Firing Stage and ready to submit my book to my writers' group for review (next week), but it's not the first time this book has been critiqued. I believe it is close if not ready for submission. I am so close to the Finishing Stage, I can taste it. How about you?
 




Copyright 2012 © Sharon Himsl



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