Violence. It’s everywhere. Think about it: An ant foraging through the grass on a sunny summer day thinking, “It’s so good to be alive. And to be an ant.” Immediately after which you step on it and crush its little body into ant mush.
One evening at Windsor, the windows steamed up as a member of the Writing Hurts Like Hell workshop read her exercise about a couple having sex. The catch was that the piece had to be written from inside the mind of one of the characters…no second voice descriptions, no “she panted” “he thrust” or “they writhed.” It had to be whatever was going through the mind of the character while having sex written as though the writer were that person.
I suppose I’d have to pare this down to the essence of writing a novel: Can anyone tell a story? On this point, I’d have to say, “Yes, anyone can tell a story, but some will tell a mesmerizing story while others will put their listeners to sleep.”
We all have ideas, some of them great, some not so great. Some get out there and make a difference in people’s lives. Most don’t. Most ideas are never developed, generally because we just see part of it and not the whole. It might be a single line of dialog or a visual image deep in our heads or an idea we’ve had for a novel or play that’s been stuck in our heads for years.