on Fiction University:
How often have you thought, “I want to write a story about this”—and then waited for the muse to come? You may have visited an intriguing place, listened to a friend’s marital vows, chuckled about a social media post, or heard about an astonishing true-life event. These ideas are like sparks, hot, bright and fascinating—but how do you get from idea to story, from a mere spark to a bright flame?
Staring at the spark, waiting for the muse to come and fan it into a fire, rarely works. The sparks die, and all that’s left is a cold crumb of ember. To build a fire, you need tinder (crumpled newspaper, birch bark, cotton wool balls) which ignites when touched by a spark. Without tinder, you won’t get a flame, and without a flame, you can’t light the kindling which sets the logs on fire.