Author of Middle Grade novels about friendship, family, and figuring out where you fit in.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Silly Ideas

The other day, I was deep in thought about something trivial -- I was thinking about how teens today communicate. They text, they Facebook message, they use whatever apps they have on their phones... and none of that was how I had communicated with my friends as a teen. I had a basic cell phone, but texting regularly would be expensive.

So, back then, we did what everyone was doing: we used AOL instant messenger. Boy, do I cringe when I think back on those days. (Any of you guys have a "buddy list" back in the day?)

Thinking about instant messaging reminded me of this dumb story idea I had when I was in middle school. It was called "Instant Message," and it was about an 8th grade girl who had the power to mentally instant message people. Well, no, she could only mentally message one person in the whole world: this boy in her class who she had a crush on.

I think I only wrote the first scene of this story before losing interest. Please don't ask me what the plot was besides a girl mentally IM-ing her crush during Spanish class, because I really have no clue!

But as silly as that idea was, I'm glad I had it. It didn't turn out to be a bestseller (or published at all, or even finished) but it was an exercise.

It may take a dozen ridiculous ideas before I come up with one that's decent, and that's okay. I even have completed novels that I consider to be exercises. I'm not ashamed. I've grown as a writer over the years, thanks to having a lot of practice. And I'll continue to do so.

What silly story ideas have you had that you ended up not pursuing? Did you use AIM back in the 90s/early 2000s? How did you communicate with your friends as a teen?

12 comments:

Tiana Smith said...

Oh yes for buddy lists, lol! I've had tons of ideas that didn't pan out. The life of a writer :)

Karen Jones Gowen said...

AOL sure lost an opportunity. They were first on the scene and now they are nothing. My first blog was on AOL Journal. Can't even find it now. It all disappeared. And no ideas are silly!!!

Jemi Fraser said...

Sadly, I'm too old for AOL - we used that old fashioned telephone! And I have several novels that will never see the outside of my hard drive, but they were worth every moment! :)

Romance Reader said...

Interesting post. I don't even know about aol!

Misha Gericke said...

So true! Even failed drafts teach us more about writing. Nothing written is ever a waste. :-)

Christine Rains said...

Oh man, I remember the AIM days. Wow. When I was a teen, I used a rotary phone. 'Nuff said there! I always come up with silly story ideas. I've even written a few stories that will be shelved for life because of their ridiculous nature!

New Release Books said...

Haha...great memory evoking post!

Shelley Sly said...

Thanks for your comments, everyone! Glad to know that I'm not the only one who comes up with some less-than-amazing ideas. ;)

Please forgive me for not replying personally this time. I'm balancing a lot these next few weeks. But I'll be around to visit you all soon!

Romance Book Haven said...

Yes, this post resounds with me!

Stephanie Faris said...

Sounds like a fun story. I think if all of us read back over the first stories we wrote, we'd cringe. That's why self-publishing may not be such a good thing. I would hate to think anyone had read the early books I wrote!!!

Crystal Collier said...

I love your silly idea, and it could totally make a cute short story.

Silly ideas for me... Fan fiction. Horrible idea. Still, it was a practice that got me ready for serious fiction. (Though if you ever mention I admitted to this, I will deny it. Emphatically.) ;)

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