Aphelion Issue 295, Volume 28
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Aphelion Editorial 039

September 2000

The Senior Editor's usual drivel about whatever...

by Dan L. Hollifield

Hello and welcome!

Where do we writers get all our ideas? Has someone pinned you down with that question yet? No? Well, it’s coming, wait and see. Have you got an answer? I don't. I've never understood why my mind works the way it does or from where the inspiration for the characters that I create comes.

Sometimes I draw details from my own life, but not often. Most often, things just pop into my head and demand to be written down. Sometimes it’s a turn of phrase, sometimes a visual image, and once in a great while its some frightening, blinding, ego-crushing blast of creativity being poured into your mind from some unknowable source- and all the time you're cursing about the funnel not being big enough or your hands not being fast enough to catch and record it all before you forget.

That hurts. (And yes, I know that I changed tenses in that last paragraph.)

But what can be retained can be woven into a story, if you work at it.

That's the thing, see? Writing is work, damned hard work, as hard as anything I do at the factory. The rewards for doing a good job feel great, but the punishments for doing a bad job feel awful. So, you try to do the best you can.

The only advice I can give you to help is to stock your mind with as many different things as you can manage. The more you have to think with, the better you can expect your ideas to be. After that, it’s just work, work, work. And never give up.

Thanks for your time.



2000 Dan L. Hollifield

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