You know this feeling: a set of thoughts and ideas begin to sparkle, they come together and shine at you, saying, 'This is the beginning of the best story you've ever produced!'
After that feeling strikes, how long do you give it before committing something to prose?
I've read loads of times that writers should carry around a notepad and a pen, both for occasions as described above, and for picking up tidbits, snippets of conversation, or mannerisms, or anything else that catches their eye while they're out and about.
In principle, I think yes, it sounds like a good idea to carry around pen and paper for just such occasions. In reality, though, I think doing so would be mildly embarrassing, and rather pretentious, so I've never done that. But I accept that it'd be helpful to the sort of person who wants to get new ideas immediately committed to prose, or at least note form.
So, yes, you have an idea. A new idea. A very shiny idea. How long do you leave it before starting to write?
Do you allow the idea/s to gestate and develop, to mature into something reliable and worthy? Or do you capture the flow of enthusiasm as soon as it strikes and start writing immediately?
I tend to toss ideas around for a few days, maybe less if there's a lot to it -- it's a novel idea, say, with good characters and a few cracking opening scenes. If an idea hits with that amount of 'already figured'ness, I'll give it a quick journey from inception to ink.
But less developed ideas, or short story ideas, or scene snippets and stuff, they can be mulled over for a while before I tap into the flow and get something down. Like a testing period, in many ways, I'll examine and re-visit the idea in my mind before focusing on it as a writing project.
I've tried writing 'immediate' style, of course, but to my mind, the 'gestate' method produces better results.
What are your experiences with this?