On the other hand, a single line of dialogue inspired me in ways that I haven't been inspired in ages. Usually, I get sparked by a visual---a place I see, an image I run across---but now I'm all giddy about this one line. Which isn't good because I've got enough stuff on my plate right now. My William ficathon assignment, my day for winter_of_wes, Frost, Echoes...not to mention the fractured fairy tale ficathon that I signed up for that I'm just waiting for my assignment on, any of my screenplays, or any of the other fic bunnies that are hopping around in the background.
All this wistful thinking about my fics got me into a nasty round of navel-gazing, and I started musing about what scenes got me started in my fics. Guess what? I'm putting some of my thoughts here...
The Hunt: My first fic. Started just as my obsession with BtVS started, which was before S6 aired. I just wanted Spike happy. The first that came to me for this was the climactic image, of Buffy and Spike fighting in the cave, neither human nor vamp but both, with all the bodies trying to bring them down. I had to build the rest of the story around how to get them there.
Zephyr Ghosts: The word "zephyr". Popped out of a Red Hot Chili Peppers song and I couldn't shake it. I structured the entire story around that single word.
Rhapsody in Oil: Honestly? Spike in a tux. That's what I wanted. And I love the era, but I didn't want to write an AU, so tried to figure out how to get it with Spike still being a vamp and Buffy still being a Slayer. I began musing on music of the time, the title popped into my head, and the painting just fell into place. Note: Craig hated the title when I first told it to him. Said he didn't get it. Of course, now he considers it very typically me. Whatever the hell that means.
Charms of the Clarion: It's hard to pinpoint this one. This began as a requested scenario from angstchic, who ended up beta-ing it at my request (and did a bang-up job, I might add), and we talked so much about it that I would be hard pressed to say any one thing jumped out in the beginning. Oh well.
Black Satin Voices: The image of Stella singing onstage at the Bronze. I couldn't shake it. Everything else sprang from that.
By Rook or By Crook: I'd been dying to try an AU and my first attempt failed miserably. I saw the mobster challenge at the Spuffy Awards, and decided to give it a shot. But the first thing that came to me for this fic (beyond the parameters set by the challenge)? Don't laugh. It was the use of a Mont Blanc as a deadly weapon. It completely gave me everything with Wesley, and the plot blossomed from there.
Legions of True Hearts: I'd been dying to write a William fic for so damn long. But I wanted it to be logical, and reasonably original (well, as original as I can get with time traveling). So it was the image of William and Buffy meeting in the park, a pleasantly neutral environment where they could both come out of hiding from behind their walls and heal. The picture of them lying on the grass and just talking got to me and wouldn't let go.
Promise of Frost: Not fair to talk about this one because it's not done. ;)
I'm sure none of this is new to anybody. And I'm pretty sure nobody finds this interesting but me. What amazes me is that people always give me so much more credit than I deserve. I write fic because I have so many damn things in my head that if I didn't, I'm pretty sure I'd explode. There is not nearly enough time in the day for me to get everything I want out, and I often wonder if I'm going to drive myself mad with all of it someday.
I find it fascinating when I read about other writers deliberately playing with specific themes. I'm so envious. I don't work that way. Maybe, somewhere in the back of my head as I'm planning, the idea is there, but it's rarely something I can pinpoint into a single sentence or anything. I think this is why I keep the distinction in my head that I'm a storyteller, not a writer. To call myself a writer in that context makes me feel like a fraud, which I hate because I know how I work. Now, if there were a way to capture the images directly out of my head into a visual medium so that I could still have the story told, I'd give up words in a heartbeat. A holodeck would be my ultimate downfall. ;)
Ack. It's late, and I'm thinking far too much, and making far too little sense. Tomorrow's going to be a busy day---Craig's weekly poker game, Alicia's friend Anabel coming over in the afternoon for a playdate, the usual household stuff---so I envision the next Frost chapter coming out Saturday or Sunday.