Q: How do you generate story ideas, and how soon do you act on them?
A: My stories often begin with something simple and familiar because of an experience I want to understand or an event in the world that triggers my curiosity. I ask myself “what-if” questions. And then I try to look at the world slant and think what could happen next. My education is all about creative work, but I am fascinated by science and history, what we understand, and what we fail to notice. I like the notion of one thing leading to another unexpected result. The friend whose neck was burned, the aunt who went to Peru, an owl dreaming, Schylar falls in love with Joan who loves Peter who loves Mark who loves Terry who sees Schylar run by one morning and follows right along behind. A draft might flow out in days. Getting the story right takes months or years. Even details I am certain are perfect, sometimes don’t survive years of revision.
Jan Priddy’s story “All the Daughters Sing”
in Metaphorosis Friday, 3 March 2023.
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