This is a short post about a small gripe.
It’s the “I have an idea for a book” comment I’ve heard on and off over the years since I started to write, and more lately after I self-published Return to Desiree Bay.
The scene unfolds along familiar lines. I see a friend or acquaintance, and we ask each other how life is going.
I reply, because I’m in book-marketing mode: “I wrote a novel called Return to Desiree Bay. You can buy it in e-book format or paperback, print on demand.”
Not all the time, but enough to make it gripe-worthy, the reply to my spruik goes something like this: “Oh, I’ve got an idea for a book.”
I respond: “Great. What’s it about?”
A while back, someone who had “an idea for a book” answered my question with: “I can’t tell you what it’s about, you might steal my idea.”
ME: *SHAKES HEAD* *ROLLS EYES* *FINDS DARK ROOM IN WHICH TO LAY DOWN ON COMFY BED FOR A LONG TIME*
My 90-going-on-91-year-old mother even has an idea, which she described to me in great detail before I’d published my own book.
After she’d finally finished (it took about half-an-hour – fortunately, there was coffee at hand), I said: “Now all you have to do is write the book.” (Is that a mean thing to say to a 90-year-old? Maybe. Just a bit.)
Recently, an acquaintance outlined his/her/their idea for a novel to me. Afterwards, I said, using my most upbeat tone: “You should write it. It’s a brilliant idea.”
That person smiled at me with the light of a saint in their eyes and said: “You can keep it, it’s yours.”
So there you have it. That’s my gripe.
I’m all for the idea. But that’s all it is. Then comes the hard yakka. Hats off to you if you can take that idea from concept to completed novel. It is easier said than done.