Every story is, at its core, a single thought or image. Often, this thought or image is the original inspiration of the story.
As I wade through the wisdom within Stephen King’s On Writing, I have resonated with certain ideas he puts forth. One of these, as previously states, that a story is born from a single precious piece. This piece might be an image, a thought (commonly called a “what if”), or a dream. The common factor within these, which is the spark of the story, is the wondrous excitement it causes you, the writer. The kindling which you can’t help but light.
In this sense, I suppose writers are similar to pyromaniacs. Ehehe.
I have also come to the conclusion that a story burns out when the writer loses sight of the origin which made them want to write the story in the first place. I know this is commonly the case with me. I love worldbuilding… but I get so complex that I lose sight of the magical idea I wanted to write about and get lost in the details. Details are poisoned arrows. I am highly susceptible to poison. Therefore, getting lost in the details effectively kills my stories.
In hopes of preventing this from happening, I am making a resolution. Whenever I come up with a new story, I will write down the inspiration and story origin. Whenever I sit down to write the story, I will first review the ISO. If I start to divulge in details which draw me away from the ISO, I will simplify.
What do you do to keep a story from dying? Where do you keep the original wonder?