There are many funny things about writing, but I think one of the strangest is what happens to stories when you’re writing them. I rarely have a fully thought-out idea of what is going to go on, as my stories are generally character-driven so it depends what it turns out that they seem to decide to do.
But it’s also interesting the curious parts of a story to which one gets attached. In my current WIP, one of the main characters, Al, is a short film director. (He also works in a wine shop, but that’s another matter.) As a minor part of the plot, his film, Welding The Night Away, gets nominated for an award in an International Film Festival. (I don’t know whether the person I know whose film did indeed get an award in such a thing wishes to be mentioned by name here; I would love to give them the publicity but always wonder whether given my very different style of writing, it would be at all appreciated. However, I have been thinking of them as I write this part of the storyline.) I realised at this point that it would probably help if I had some idea what Al’s film had, in fact, been about.
So I thought about it. With the result that I am now totally dedicated to the idea of this wonderful film that Al made and am really rather sad that I can’t see it (since, let us face it, it doesn’t actually exist), and that it can basically only get a fleeting mention in the story I’m actually writing.
So. If anyone is considering making a short film, can I propose the following plot (as described briefly in my WIP):
“Welding The Night Away was a thought-provoking story about a young woman named Helen, who struggled with severe anxiety which made her literally shake with nerves. Unable to sleep for more than a few hours at a time, she spent the rest of her night-times in her garage, welding together amazing artworks which never saw the light of day but which, for a few, peaceful hours, stopped her limbs from trembling and allowed her to get the little rest she could.”
Alas. The story which never was.