Someone wise once told me that you should write down every idea you get, big or small. Since then I have been given variants of that advice no less than three times. It seems as though we writers have a large mental bank, if you make a deposit you can retrieve it later. Seems obvious. Don’t know why I didn’t think of it.
The basic idea is that if you describe that character that came to you in a dream, even though you have no context for them now, you may be able to use them later. The same could be said for a single scene that you can picture but have no context for. You could also record awkward or crazy things you witness when you’re out-and-about in the real world for use later (like the lady in the park who was walking a cat!).
Just write it all down. Let your muse work her magic. You can make it useful later.
Anyway, along those same lines here is something that just came to me. I like it, but it literally fits nothing I’m writing. I’ll hang on to it. Maybe someday I’ll write about what came next for this guy (or girl…in idea journals that kind of thing is fluid). Until then, enjoy!
The first time I killed someone, it was an accident.
I was seventeen and driving on my own at night for the first time. The rain was coming down in heavy droplets, the kind that make you crank your windshield wipers up to max and still wish for one more speed. I rolled through a green light, that odd shade of green bouncing off the water droplets on the windshield and illuminating the entire front seat of the car. Another car was pulling out of the parking lot for the grocery store on the right. I saw the car, tried to slam on my brakes, tried to wrench the wheel to the left. Nothing helped. I slammed into her car at practically full speeds.
The police officer who was called tried to reassure the sniveling mess that I had become that it was not my fault. It was a traffic accident. Accidents are called accidents because no one intended for them to happen. I did the right thing by staying on scene. It was going to be alright.
I never told him I stayed on scene because the sight of her blood sliding down her face was mesmerizing. I never told anyone that.
I watched this complete stranger take ragged breaths for five minutes after I dialed 9-1-1. I watched the last one leave her in more of a single woosh, something she had no control over. I knew then.
I never expected to like death, it just sort of happened.