So I wake up this morning with a brand new story idea sprouting out of my head. No idea where it came from. My new story will be set on an oil rig, so it may have been inspired tangentially by the fact that I watched Moon last night, but only in the detail that both are set around mining operations. Other than that, they've got nothing in common.
So anyway, my story starts forming buds before I even leave for work. I'm churning the whole thing around in my head so much that I forget to stop at Mom's and drop off her vegetables. (D'oh!) By the time I'm walking across Lynn Park downtown, I've got several levels of conflict started, and by the time I ride the elevator up to my office, I've got a piece of the resolution, some ideas about my protagonist, and a whole page worth of notes I need to jot down right this fucking minute before I lose them. I've got a story idea file for all the random thoughts that occur to me, but most of those kernels are just a sentence or two that might grow into something or might not. It's really rare that this much of a story comes to me all at once.
And it's pretty exhilirating. I've got myself all excited about it, and I can't wait for more ideas to come. I'm not nearly ready to start writing things down, though. Like Harlan Ellison recommends, I'm going to take all these ideas, toss them back into the swamp of my subconscious, and see what kind of lumpy, misshapen monster arises. As of right now, the story is a little more political than what I've written before, and runs the risk of becoming preachy. I'll have to wait and see what other concepts latch on to it. Besides, I have other things to finish first.
This is fun!
Status update: My Mercury Story has been rewritten again and submitted to the annual Jim Baen contest. My Venus Story is just about ready to send to Writers of the Future. With luck, I'll have the Oil Rig Story ready to send to them next quarter (though at the moment, it feels more like an Analog story than any other idea I've had so far). I'm about 1/4 the way through the first draft of my Steampunk Robots in Louisiana story, which is due by the end of the month. My short-short piece "Witch's Cross" is ready for the Write Club Flash Fiction Night, but I still haven't put "The Merlin House" on paper. It's all there, lock safe in my brain, I swear! It'll just take a few hours to get it down, once I escape from the mechanical men of Knockwood Plantation.
Plus there's that pesky day job, dammit. Oh, well.