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  • Writer's picturePhil

Too Big of an Idea (At least for now)

Whether it’s a novel, a screenplay, a song, or other creative work, a general rule applies: you can’t force good work.  Now, that’s not to say you can’t do good work while under the pressure of a deadline or your internal motivations and goals.  What I am talking about is timing.  In his book On Writing, Stephen King mentioned that he had the idea for his novel Under the Dome many years before ever beginning writing. Could someone like Stephen King have written it when he first had the idea? Maybe, but that would have been forcing it to happen.  Fortunately, he was wise enough to see that, in his words, “the story was just too big for me at that time.”  So, he put it in the back of his head, and then years later, he wrote it and ultimately became the basis for the Under The Dome TV series. 

Over the years, I have wanted to write a story that involves a variation on the time travel theme.  Later in life, the protagonist somehow wakes up in his 17-year-old body but with his forty-something mind.  I tried to think of the challenges he would face, from the minor things of not remembering his school class schedule, his locker location, and locker combination to more significant issues such as seeing family members and friends who had died, now alive again, all the while trying desperately to hide what has happened to him so people don’t think he has lost his mind.  There are so many open questions in that story every time I give it some thought.  Perhaps this story is my "Under the Dome", and like Stephen King’s experience, it is just too big for me to write now, but one day, it will come together and be a worthwhile story.  😊

“You see something, then it clicks with something else, and it will make a story. But you never know when it's going to happen.”   -- Stephen King


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