Sssh! I'm sneaking up on a new novel idea. It's so skittish, and I don't want to spook it. I won't look it directly in the eye or make any big, sudden movements. A quick jot of a character's name here, a possible plot point scribbled there.
(I feel a bit like Larry when we hand feed him. He likes to sneak up on the lettuce, stalk it from the side until he's ready to "pounce" on it. Ah ha, take that romaine!)
But my pile of scrap paper and post-its has grown and moved into a notebook. A simple "What if...?" question has spawned generations of others: "And then...?" "What happens now?" "What happens next?" "Why?"
The idea is now too big and unwieldy to outrun me and besides, it has grown used to my presence at its edges. I still approach with caution because I've met a similar creature before. Many, many times. Just when you think you've got "it" - the best plot, the perfect characters, the big idea, the bestseller, etc. - it scampers away.
If only ideas were like Larry's romaine lettuce - wilted and hand fed to me. Then maybe even I'd be able catch one of them.