Thursday, April 30, 2009

Orlando Bloom In Town Filming A Movie

We are greeted by this headline when we turn on the evening news at WTVD Channel 11, Durham, NC. Then video clips of star sightings roll across the screen.

I am hooked.

I don’t know about you, but when working on a story I “cast” my characters. Before I can write a word I need to visualize my heroine and hero. Usually, I choose people I enjoy watching on the screen so my characters start out as friends.

Not this time. Though I watched “Pirates of the Caribbean”, I wouldn’t consider myself a Bloom fan. Still, after days of watching him smile at the cameras, Orlando Bloom jumped right into my imagination. What’s a writer to do?


I don’t need this new idea grabbing hold of my writing time. In one of the earlier discussions, I mentioned I always get in trouble with ideas “ripped from the headlines.” But here is this tantalizing new character, reaching out to me from the news, morning and night …Colin Firth, Orlando, Ellen, Amber …they’re all here.

Still, I battled the temptation. I’m taking two on-line courses. I’m up to my chin in revisions for two completed ms. Then there’s life. But the idea pulls at me a little more each time I watch the news...or read about the movie in the newspaper.

I’m lost.

Though I resisted for days, I finally give in, open a NEW blank document and start putting thoughts on paper.

When I finish, I have eleven pages of a new wip. And two new characters living in my head. Now what? I’ve been slogging through revisions for the finished stories, but this new idea is so tempting.

What do you do when an alluring new idea pops into your head? Do you finish the work in progress? Or do you give in to temptation and experience the exciting thrills of a new story and new people?

PS…the movie is Main Street, due out next year. Durham isn’t my home, but I do live in NC. YAY UNC Tar Heels! GO Hurricanes!!!


I.J. Parnham said...

I'm intrigued by what "NC. YAY UNC Tar Heels! GO Hurricanes!!!" means.

Anyhow to answer the question: I try my best to tell those good ideas to go away. I think there might be a creative thing going on in which while you're writing you're consistently thinking of ideas for the current project and that leaves you open to a snowballing effect for all sorts of other ideas. So if the idea doesn't fit in, I resist. I don't write it down, as if often advised, as I think writing things down is a way of forgetting ideas rather than helping to remember them.

Then I use the natural asset of my sieve-like mind to forget the idea. If it goes away, fine, but if it stays in there itching away then, yeah, eventually I'll give in and have an itch.

Sierra Donovan said...


When I'm "haunted" by an idea the way you were, I do what you did. Gotta write at least SOME of it down! Especially if it refuses to go away. Who am I to spit in the face of the Muse?

Usually that's enough to keep it from clawing at my brain. If it's still haunting you ... wow. Not sure I've ever had that happen!

I think I'd keep giving in to the fits of creativity to quiet those new folks down ... but then I'd turn back to those revisions. Divide my time between the new and the old.

Your current predicament might be a clue ... but how have you come to be revising TWO books at once?!!!!

I know about your Tar Heels, but I'll let you explain. ;)

Have a great day!

Carol Hutchens said...

Sorry! LOL
I forgot this is a 'worldwide' group.

UNC Tarheel won the National Basketball championship.

The Carolina Hurricanes are in the playoff for the Stanley Cup...[ice hockey]

I typed UNC and my love of the sports took over...

Interesting that you think writing down is a way of forgetting...that might work.

Carol Hutchens said...

Hi Sierra!
To answer your question...I'm working on two rejected for each of the on-line classes I'm enrolled in...

Thanks for posting.


I.J. Parnham said...

Thanks for explanation, Carol. I thought it might be a zip code or something.

Tessa McDermid said...


I write down nagging ideas to both 'forget' and 'remember.' Once I have an idea on paper, it's out of my head and I can go on with my current WIP. Then, when I need a new idea, I can go back to the earlier idea.

I have a notebook labeled "Ideas" and I jot down as many notes as I can when I have something happen like you did. (Colin Firth? Hmm, his picture is taped to my computer monitor - I can use his image any time - grin!). I may also type the first scenes that are coming hope - those go into a file folder for later. Sometimes an idea still simmers in my brain but this process gives me breathing room.

And, yes, I know about your Tar Heels. A small yeah! from a dedicated Jayhawks fan :).

Elisabeth Rose said...

I have a file in which I write down story ideas so I don't forget them. It's nice to dip into it and find some little gem I've noted down ages ago.

I don't generally start in on something new unless I've reached a point in the wip where I need to let it sit for a while and allow ideas to percolate. I might then write a chapter or two of a new idea just to kick things off. I always finish the original one though. Mostly I stick to the one story.

Jane Myers Perrine said...

I always write down everything I can about a new idea--then I put it away and work on what I need to. If I didn't, I'd forget it completely--immediately.

Go, Louisville Cardinals!


Carol Hutchens said...

Hi Terry/Tessa!

Love the suggestion of a notebook for new a journal for dreamers! LOL

Oh, yes...Mr. Darcy can stay around for inspiration, anytime.


Carol Hutchens said...

Hi Elisabeth,

How are things down your way?
Do you ever forget what 'inspired' your notes?

How many of your books came from your notes?

I think you're right...sticking around to finish is the best.

Great to see you.

Carol Hutchens said...

Don't even say Cardinals...LOL That was close!
So, do you go back to your notes when you're ready to start a new ms? Or by then has something else grabbed your attention?

What makes you chose one idea over another for your next book?

Thanks for posting.

I.J. Parnham said...

The comment about forgetting what inspired the note in the first place is why writing notes to remember / forget doesn't work for me. If I wrote notes of ideas (and I have admitedly) some years down the line I'm left wondering what on earth made me write 'frogs can't count' or somesuch.

If I have a good idea and forget it, then frankly that's probably for the best as it probably wasn't a good idea in the first place. If you keep it in your mind, your natural database can sift through the information and decide if it's any good or not. And if it does like it then it can sit there and make friends with other ideas without you even realizing it.

And what is it with a soggy Colin Firth coming out of a pond? Don't see it myself!

LaVerne St. George said...

Carol, thanks so much for this post. I'm from Durham, North Carolina and I've seen the movie sets and the crews. It's big news here, of course. And how terrific! We're neighbors! When I get an idea like that, I do what you do. I write in flash mode, just getting down everything in my head and then I file it. Actually print it and file it in a desk file folder. Then I can drop in clippings, notes, magazine articles, whatever comes my way. Weeks later I can pull out the folder and be on my way.
Ian, LOL on the soggy Colin. When I read your comment, I could picture the scene perfectly and well...sigh! But I do understand. I like him better dry!

Carol Hutchens said...

If I misspell words it's because I'm still laughing...a soggy Colin...NO. But give me a distant Mr. Darcy in Brigdett Jones and I swoon.

Like your idea of natural database. I usually say my idea is 'simmering' on the back burner...
Much better to refer to our brains with computer terminology. LOL

Carol Hutchens said...

Hello neighbor!
Actually, having movies on location is great fun. Last year George Colin Firth and Orlando Bloom...always the excitement of wondering who will come next.

It it's Tom Selleck...I will probably embarrass my grown children...LOL

Oh, I like the file idea...adding clippings, etc. Hadn't thought of that.


Holly Jacobs said...


I have a huge WIP file filled with ideas that range from a page long, to upwards of twenty pages. Sometimes it's a synopsis, and sometimes just part of chapter. It's a wonderful place to wander when I'm looking for a new idea. There are tons of ideas there!

As for Orlando Bloom, I just got home from a Disney Cruise and saw the actual Black very cool. I looked, but neither Orlando or Johnny Depp were on it...sigh. LOL


Carol Hutchens said...

Hey Holly!
Sounds like you had fun! Orlando's stayed out of sight in Durham, too. He's safer that way! LOL

Idea files seem to be a stand-by for they never run out.

Great to see you here, Holly! Thanks for posting.

Elisabeth Rose said...

My wip is from an idea I had two years ago combined with something I either heard on TV or read in the paper years before that. I jotted down the concept and thought it would be a useful premise for a hero someday.

The manuscript I've just submitted for assessment is fully based on a newspaper article I clipped and filed in a manila folder in the bottom drawer of my writing room chest of drawers.

Ian, I make more detailed notes than a couple of words LOL I'd have no idea what a short phrase was supposed to mean.

Elisabeth Rose said...

I forgot to mention---A few years ago we were walking in the park by the lake and heard loud Indian music wailing through the trees. A Bollywood film set and crew was in action. Fascinating to watch. The hero was miming to the song while the heroine panted in angst and ran to hug a tree. Took about thirty seconds and they did heaps of takes with all the Sunday afternoon Aussie strollers having a good gawk.
Bizzarely and in true Bollwood style there was a blue double bed, lamp and bedside table arranged under the trees. It was apparently a dream sequence.

I used that in a ST story that hasn't gone anywhere much. But the Bollywood stuff was too good to not use.

Carol Hutchens said...

I love it...hope that book reaches the shelves soon! What fun.

Do you find you combine ideas frequently? Does a new idea jar your memory, having you run for your files?

Great posts!

Thanks so much for sharing.