I stumbled upon a video of Stephen King last night. In it he stated that he had the idea for The Dome in 1973, but he didn’t have the maturity to write it. The idea, he seems to indicate, needed to marinate.
I believe that. Some ideas need to marinate, form, develop. And sometimes we have to wait for more experience or more education to be able to make the story real, believable, and relatable.
Stephen King says he doesn’t keep a notebook (or at least in the short clip I watched), but that good ideas stick around. I, personally, keep a notebook. I also have sticky notes, journals, notes all around the house, in my desk, my nightstand, and occasionally in the kitchen recipe drawer (I don’t know how they got there!), and in different files on my computer. I like to refer back – and sometimes I find that an idea I had 5 or 10 years ago has come stuck around and developed into a story.
After my book Eddy was published, I found notes in files from long before that I’d completely forgotten about. Good ideas do stick around. But sometimes the memory plays tricks!