I Need Ideas!!
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"To make a long story short, I don't have a long story. Or a short story. I've run out of story ideas, and I need one. Fast." I explain, tapping my fingers idly against the keyboard "No, don't give me that blank face. I need your help and your genius ideas."

I move my hands away from my laptop and fold them politely by my side, staring blankly at the screen in front of me.

"Please. We've done this before. So, so many times. This time, don't make me sit here for an hour. Give me an idea: one that you know I can do. And then maybe I'll do something for you. I… I'll wipe your screen. I'll charge you first thing in the morning…" my eyes fall to the nearly empty battery icon in the bottom right corner.

And there's silence.

Nothing pops into my mind. Nothing pops onto my screen,

I suppose this is what I get for trying to speak to my laptop. And yet….

"After everything we've been through… just give me an idea. Anything! I just want to write something…" my voice trails off as a stare at a string of text in a corner of the screen.

I Need Ideas!!

The thing is, normally, writing comes pretty easy to me.

I just sit down, put my hands on the keyboard, and they start moving. Sometimes, the words I'm typing don't even seem to pass through my mind. I just see them appear on the screen, and continue typing with a sense of unease.

So, it came naturally to try asking my laptop for help. Me and my laptop have been through so, so much together. Sometimes, when I'm writing, it feels like its not me. It feels like my laptop is controlling me, the second my fingers brush against the keys, letting vaguely intelligent statements come pouring out.

This is about the point in a story where it should descend into concerning sentences about how the writer feels less and less human, everytime they're on their laptop. How they feel as though artificial intelligence is replacing humanity, and letting the plot dive off a cliff and into raging waters.

And I could write about that. But I don't want to. Because it's not an Idea.

An idea is a thought, a suggestion, meant to fit a specific situation.

I'm not entirely sure what my situation is, but all I know is that writing on artificial intelligence isn't a good enough idea.

I need something special, something that ten books haven't already been written on, something that fifty people don't already have stored in the back of their mind.

I need something unique and different, like me.

And yet, it needs to be good enough to not flop off a cliff.

Unlike me.

I need to find a good idea that can carry me from the ground up to the skies, like an airplane but without the hussle of security and blowing money on tickets, an idea that can raise me up to the bright blue skies and then gently land me on a new, exciting land.

But I also need to avoid my pilot going bonkers and crashing the plane.

Or the plane simply crashing on its own.

Or other people shooting it down.

Or something.

I just need an idea that I can write a whole story about, a story that hasn't been used a bunch before, a story that can be… a story.

A good one.

A good story shouldn't just be a plot skeleton, with some bits of muscle and fat tacked on.

A good story should be an entire person: complete with a fleshed out narrative, descriptive facial features, and nice layers of skin to wrap it all off.

And it should have limbs that can move. No one needs a stiff, unbendable story.

And stories need dialogue. Either the narrator, or characters speaking.

A story needs to be able to catch the reader's attention.

A nice shout from well-made lungs could work. Or maybe a glance into beautiful, well-colored eyes. Or maybe noticing some painfully bright clothes.

The hook of a story is perhaps the most important part. If your story just starts in a boring way, your readers might just… swim away.

A hook isn't just a hook. You need to add worms or little baits to attract your little fishy readers…

Only to snap them up and devour them in a plate with lemon juice and tiny potatoes and bread.

Mmmmmm readers can be pretty tasty if baked properly.

But you'll never get a chance to bake, or fry them, until you catch them.

Or unless you go to a supermarket. But then you have to scour around and pay.

Better to just spend some time getting a nice bait and hook, attracting some innocent little fishies into your death trap…

If readers are fish (nom nom) and the start to your story is a hook, then the rest of it is an ocean that the little fish are swimming through.

Course, they could move into another ocean, sea, river, whatever other bodies of water.

Once fish have been attracted into your ocean, you must do everything in your power to keep them there.

You could splash little crumbs of food all around: those little fishies will swim around, eagerly looking for more teensy bits of food.

You could decorate the seascape with coral and kelp and pretty little ocean things, so that the fish will wander around, gazing with huge fish-eyes at the beautiful and definitely not store-bought decorations.

You could ask the little fish what they want, and try to add it in, to make them feel satisfied with your ocean.

Or you could fence the fishies in, convince them that there are sharks in every other body of water, and start a dystopian empire.

You could.

Looking back on this, I'm realizing one thing.

I still don't have an Idea.

And perhaps I never will.

But the thing is, my keyboard still calls me, pressing words onto the screen.

My keyboard still clicks with the most satisfying noise possible and spews out dark words onto a white screen.

And my mind allows me to jabber on and on about random things, and yet convince others that this was planned.

It wasn't planned.

None of it ever was.

But what's the point of the truth if it makes you look like an idiot?

So, children, what's the moral of this story?

Make sure your writing is a fully functioning body and not a decomposed skeleton, build a lovely underwater empire to attract and keep little fishies swimming around in your ocean…

And once you get fishies to trust you enough, and follow you around…

Don't fail to get a nice juicy worm, placed gently on a hook, get those little fishies closer and closer…

And soon enough, you'll have a nice, steaming hot dinner.

Mmmmm, lemme get started on peeling some potatoes—

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