Are You Fishing...byMy Erotic Trail©
Fish for a Story Idea, a Word or Literary Inspiration
I observed a friend writing. She was sitting with a small stack of papers in her lap and a pencil in her hand. She would look outward, not really looking at anything specifically but instead she was fishing for words to use that would fit into her write.
She scribbled on the paper and then looked upward as if she had just cast a thought, like casting a fishing line out in hopes of snagging a word, thought or phrase. She erased a line and replaced it with a new thought, like replacing the lure/bait with a new one. Then cast a gaze again.
I watched her fish for the words that eventually produced a very lovely and heart felt poem.
Imagine there is a huge lake before you. A rod and reel in your hand. Throw out the line and watch it splash upon the surface of this lake. At this point you're going 'souly' on feel as you reel the line and lure in slowly.
Hoping that it will bend over like a hooker on Friday night and dance like a belly dancer doing overtime, with a whopper of a tale on the other end. Suddenly you hear a slight swirl in the water and the lure is climbing to the tip of your rod.
'Nothing', you didn't even get a bite. You're as disappointed as a turtle humping a hard hat.
Do not despair; think of it as one of the one hundred throws needed to catch a great fish (story).
Out of one hundred casts,
an average of ten fish may be caught.
Out of those ten fish,
one or two may be good bounty.
Also, just as we have good days and bad days, we'll have days that are full of good story ideas (like a mass of salmon swimming up river) and other days where you can't think of a tale to save your soul. I recommend you designate a place to store your ideas like storing mounted trophy fish on the wall.
Obviously you'll either narrow down what you'd like to catch or simply fish the big blue waters of anything to land any thing at all. Keep in mind it always comes down to the waters you fish and the lures you use.
Alacrity is a Fisherman!
In order to fish you need a rod, a reel and tackle box. Fishing for a story idea you'll need a genre, a muse and a tool to write with. You're not sure what you'll catch but the joy of fishing along with the reward of a catch just may land you a whopper of a tale. You know what they say...
"You can't catch anything unless you cast a line." (In this case a line of thought)
But what do you use for bait? Humorous worms on an erotic treble hook or an incest fly on a number 69 swivel-hook or maybe you're trying a new pink colored spinner with artificial intelligence. Homemade fishing lures is what I'll recommend to those fishing for stories. Tie your favorite genre feather to a reasonable size hook that fits your needs. Long, short, twisted or straight.
Some may be lured to read, for instance; The Fisherman, Free Willy, Moby Dick, a Dictionary and Thesaurus, etc. to become inspired to write a similar tale with a special twist. I have even fished the waters of the web trying to catch a spark of an idea or a muse by reading others.
Perhaps one paragraph of the poem 'Fishing for Zen' set your line to sail, the bobber hit the water and made ripples that grew and as you reel in your line, the story unfolds.
Chances are you're going to write within the genre that appeals to you personally. The waters that you're familiar with. I know some that will fish only with a fly rod for Trout, I know those who fish only for Bass and I know those who cast everything in their tackle box just to see what is out there.
Go Fish ~
Gather your mental gear and imagine a drive to the lake, climb into your literary canoe and cast off. No need for a paddle because you're going to go with the flow and your hands will be busy typing or writing. Unless a paddle is your muse, if you know what I mean.
Absorbed in the surroundings of water gently slapping the boat, the tall pines that line the shore and offer shade from the burning hot sun that has not yet shed its light on thee. The dark shadows and solitude of the thick forest reminds you of the movie; Deliverance and a shiver runs up your spine. While you swat at the mosquitoes that swarm around you.
You'll cast your thoughts into every shadowed pool, protruding stump and moving ripple in hopes of snagging a story idea, or perhaps a word to fit in your write. You may have gotten a few nibbles so you know where you can cast again and hopefully pull in a small perched story but you're holding out for the 'bigger fish'.
A Fish Tale ~ (a true story)
One eyed Walter, we called him. He was a 72-pound 'Op' catfish that we ( My Father and I ) caught on the Trinity River in the early eighty's. I would suspect that leaving an invitational thread, asking for story ideas would be the same as trot line fishing. Leaving your bait out all night in hopes of having a string of 'small mouth' ideas the next day.
I remember pulling up to the trot line on the river and the water swirled as though the Lock Ness monster had just rolled under the surface causing a swell to arise. "Holy Molly Batman." I had no idea that this big fish would produce a grand tale with its huge tail. I can hardly express the anxieties that arise when you find a 72-pound catfish waiting for you to un-hook him.
It was not just a catch, it was historic. The biggest fish tale that I could tell you or any one for the rest of my life. It was no small task wrestling with a fish as big as me, trying to get him into the boat.
Once he was in the boat he flopped around violently rocking the boat dramatically and almost rose high enough to go over the side, so I sat on him. Straddled and held it down as if I was awaiting the referee's ten count, while my father drove the boat homeward.
It was Easter Sunday as I recall and when we got back to the house and parked the boat, I was reminded we had very little time before church started.
A well known fact is; when you catch a large catfish they are usually full of fat and the best way to prepare the fish for meals is to allow the fish to swim around for several days, so we tied a ski rope to its bottom lip and tied him to the dock. I was delighted to see One-eyed Walter settle to the bottom of the river and swim around slowly testing the rope and then settle into the muddy bottom.
I showered, dressed and went to church with my family. I couldn't tell you what the sermon was about but I bet you a dollar to a donut my thoughts were on that one eyed catfish.
It had lost an eye sometime or another in its long life so we named him, One eyed Walter. (I have no idea where the name Walter came from) I suppose one of the family members cast a line of thought and that was what they had reeled in. Probably in reference to the Movie: On Golden Pond.
After church I raced back to the house and out to the pier faster than a squirrel climbs a tree. The whole family came walking out to see what we had been bragging about all morning long. Our 72-pound catfish tied to the dock.
Pulling Walter from the water and onto the dock was not an easy task. My Mother, Father, Wife and our 2-year-old son, were all eyes when this huge whale of a fish came out of the water and flopped on the dock. We tied Walter to a boat shed 2 x 4 cross member and raised him upward to weigh him. He was as long as I was and bigger around. His mouth was so big we could have stuck the 2-year-old into his mouth and still had room for a six-pack of 'splash' soft drinks.
The camera began flashing and pictures were being taken of this huge, once in a lifetime catch. I held the baby and twisted the line to make Walter turn, so that we could get his photogenic side. He didn't like this and began flopping back and forth as we took pictures of Walter the one eyed catfish.
Now the thing I never expected was for the ski-rope to snap and break. It was old and sun rotted and even as big as the rope was it was no match for a pulling and tugging 72-pound catfish that wanted back into the water. I held the baby tightly so that he was not slapped by a tail or a fin. Walter hit the pier, flopped around a time or two, fell back into the river and swam away. The only difference in this story about the fish that got away, is that I have the pictures to prove it.
Now you would as a writer fill pages and pages with adjectives and clichés to fill in the rest of the story. The whole idea is to catch a whopper and paint the story into a picture that lures readers to your short story with a big tale.
Ever get the feeling that you couldn't hit water if you fell out of a boat? Or ever feel as though you couldn't draw a bath much less draw a picture?
I could hand you a list of ideas as if I had given you a stringer of fish but that is just not the same. I have heard it said that it is better to write something you know about or something that you have experienced in order to get the full effect into a story. You have to cast your own line and reel for your own fish story. You may have to cast for days before you find the fish that you want to write about but that is all part of the enjoyment we get from writing and fishing for stories.
Remember, the secret to telling a good fish tale is to take a minnow and make a whale out of it. Just how many times have you cast a thought out for an idea and reeled in nothing. As many times as I have I am sure. But rest assured, eventually, something will bite and a tale will unravel as you reel in an idea.
Let's say you cast your thought line out and catch a bass and it explodes out of the water. Writing is like drawing, you doodle the fish coming out of the water. You select the patched pattern along the side of the fish that makes it unique. Draw the swirling lines to imitate the waters spraying splash. You'll have to decide what color the water is and add a background. Finishing the details until you're satisfied with what you have created.
The obstacles that arise from drawing, writing and creating are the same as snagging your line on an under water branch or root. Or the backlash in a reel from casting. Problems and obstacles that arise in real life as well as our stories. Prevailing over these mishaps is what makes the tale.
My Father once told me that when the line gets all tangled up, "It is much quicker and less frustrating to cut the line and restring than it is to try to unravel and figure out a mess."
But it is the mess, in a story, that binds the characters together and unraveling the tale is like figuring out a knot. Which of course the hero or main character gets the credit for figuring out the mess, most of the time.
You may draw from an idea or a problem, for example; You have gone to the local Fishing Store with a friend and become separated. Take this problem and expand on it. Create characters and unravel the mystery. Finding that your friend was in the change booth with a stranger having wild and passionate sex in a pair of waders.
You may do as I do and catch several fish (ideas) and save them to eventually decide which story to elaborate on when I need a tale. Trophies on the wall. That is like having an Ace in the hole.
Do you have an Ace?
(A special thanks to (LuciousBi_Writes4U) and (LeBroz) for their pre-reads, notations and repairs to this story) (~_~)