Look! Over there. See it shimmering on the horizon?
Is it a city? An oasis?
It's that bright, shiny new idea for your next novel that just popped into your head. And right now it's just a mirage.
Our job is to make it real - to take this shimmering illusion and turn it into a story. We take all the elements of storytelling and weave them together to bring the vision we see into sharper focus.
The closer we get to turning our shiny idea into a perfect story, the clearer the image becomes. But it still looks as far away as when we first saw it. We may have typed "The End," but those two little words don't mean we're finished.
We're just getting started. What comes next is The Big Edit. Repeat after me ... rewriting is fun.
Finally the big day arrives. We pull out the manuscript to give it one more read before letting it face the world. Or at least one editor or agent. We start reading. Maybe every once in a while, if we did all the jobs right, we might stop and tilt our head. Did I write that? Hmmm. Not too bad.
And when we reach "The End" this time, we look up and see our shimmering illusion is now a sturdy castle filled with an entire royal court.
Or maybe an austere courtroom where a battle royale plays out.
Go where your story takes you. But don't stop halfway. Otherwise your story will remain shimmering in the distance, nothing but a mirage.