Freebie Mondays: Fragments

Freebie Mondays: Fragments

I mentioned awhile back that I used to jot down little fragments of poetry, song lyrics or prose that popped into my head throughout the day. I have tons of emails, notebooks and computer files filled with  passing fragments from my early writing days. Somewhere along the line, I stopped writing these little scribbles down. Probably as a result of that, they stopped popping into my head.

On a whim a few months back I decided to write down a few random lines that popped into my head while I was working on the map for Life is But a Dream. I’m not exactly filling notebooks with the stuff, but it’s nice to have a free, random creative flow again.

I had trouble motivating myself when I sat down to write this morning. (Sometimes it happens.) So I started flipping through my recent doodles. The first one to shake free was obviously meant to be part of a song.

Love me in the dark
Love me with all your heart
Love me till it leaves a mark
Love me until the sun comes up
Love me with everything you have
Or Don’t
Don’t love me at all

I must have had Domerin and Crescent on my mind at the time. I was outlining their latest novel, and the tone does fit some of their relationship struggles. Perhaps it will become a song that plays in the background of a future scene.

On the same page of notes I wrote:

Sing a sad song
The saddest song you know
Sing of yesterday
And all the joy you knew
Beneath the sun’s golden glow

I guess I was feeling melancholy at the time. These also feel like they’re supposed to be song lyrics to me, perhaps related to a character death that keeps haunting one of my other characters. (Vague, I know, but I’m trying to avoid spoilers!)

Writers’ brains are odd places, filled with tiny snippets of half-formed ideas. So flipping through a writer’s notebook can feel rather random and chaotic. In the midst of some marketing notes, there’s a list of things I had to do in a hurry last year before we moved into our new house.

On the next page is a quote from one of our role playing game sessions. A new character asked, “Who is this Domerin anyway? Is he your leader?”

My husband’s character answered: “He’s just some guy with an annoying habit of pulling everyone into his orbit.” It fit Domerin so well I jotted it down in hopes of adding it to one of his novels someday.

The rest of the page is a list of magical tattoos one of Domerin’s incarnations might eventually end up bearing.

While flipping through the same notebook, I found another little gem I need to one day include in a novel. It reads:

A warrior’s heart cannot be tamed. Nor can it be leashed or caged. The best you can hope is to temper it, shape it and hone it like fine steel. It can, on occasion, be sheathed. But to ask the warrior to abandon his heart’s blade is akin to striking him dead.

This quote could very easily have applied to Kantis… if I hadn’t already finished his books. But I’m fairly sure I meant Rose to be the speaker in this case. So it’s a fair bet she was also talking about Domerin.

(Domerin creeps into my head a lot… I’m used to it.)

Of course digging through one of my old notebooks makes me curious to dig through more of my old notebooks. I dug back through some of my much older fragments and found a few tidbits that still spark interest. For example:

I don’t know what happened
Why the rules all changed
Why the sun went down…
When they called my name

Sounds like the opening of a dystopian novel.

I’m reminded that Dreamers Do Lie came from a simple note that said, a warrior and a demon dueled over a princess on a burning boat. Who is she? And why is the boat burning? I wrote two novels about the answer!

The other fragment that caught my eye is a bit more flowery, but also a lot more vague:

Crystal pools like mirrors lay
upon your smooth silk surface
Green and grey and purple swirl
while leaf stalks prance and sway

Upon the hill raindrops play
melodies of star-struck love
Leaves from bowing branches fall
swept, like my heart, away

I feel like I must have written this about a specific day or, perhaps, a setting I had in mind, though I’m no longer sure.

I’m aware that many of these fragments are lost ideas, things that came to me in passing and faded before I truly grasped them. But lots of my big projects are also spawned by random notes I rediscovered years later.

Domerin’s first novel came from a dream I had about trying to find him. I kept waking up that night and, every time I fell back asleep, the dream resumed.

Another of my project outlines came from a note that states simply: aliens came.

Not all of my fragments are poems or statements either. Some were quite obviously meant to be the start of stories. Like this little snippet. (Please pardon how horribly it’s written – it’s quite old, and also unedited!)

The missing buzz of electricity.

All her life had been lived with it, the same demands, the same rules that governed the function of life and even of her very being. All of her life she had settled down to sleep within these same walls, they were so familiar. Every night she had been lulled off to sleep by the same sounds, the same hum and buzz of electrical power running through the walls, the vessels hidden away but the sounds and sensation of the power nearby always just within her senses. Now that it was gone the walls seemed somewhat empty. She seemed somewhat lost, somewhat out of sorts. The familiarity was gone.

I’m assuming I wrote this one day during an extended power outage and probably intended it to be another dystopian-style story. (Though perhaps she’s in a spaceship? The missing buzz of electricity might be particularly terrifying in that case!)

Here’s another in the same vein but with more of a horror element:

The noises outside my window were unfriendly now. Every little sound made me glance apprehensively in that direction. I tried not to let it bother me too much as I continued making my bed, lest my thoughts drive sleep away. Sleep, I decided, was a good thing. Especially tonight.

I believe that no idea, random line or quick note ever goes to waste. You never know when an old scribble will fill a hole you’ve been struggling with for a long time. I don’t know that I’ll use all of the random fragments I’ve held onto, but I suppose that’s what’s great about this blog. I can share them here!

So what do you think? Which of these fragments should I use – and how?

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