I have a story idea for NaNo. Okay, it's really just a scene. Not even a scene. More of an image, like a still from a movie.
I've tried to rewind it to see what happened before.... Nothing. Fast forward to see what happens after.... Nothing. I know a story exists; I feel it.
I sorted through my folders of ideas - news stories, scraps of overheard dialogue, shreds of dreams scribbled down in the gray morning light - wondering if anything would shake something loose, would make that still move.
And move it did. Only not in the smooth flowing way I'd like. No. Instead, I'd come across an idea, an article, a character sketch and I'd feel that ping, the one that says "Yes, I belong in this story. I don't know why or in what capacity exactly, but I belong here. Trust me."
And so I do.
I still don't know what my story is about. I don't have an outline or a timeline. I don't have a working title. I do have a main character. I have a sense of foreboding and fear. I have more stills than I care to count, but I also have blips of movement, of actual scenes. I have the essence of the story, and for me, for now, that's enough.
How do your ideas come to you - fully formed or in pieces? Do they arrive visually, like in images, or do you hear your characters' voices? Do you get a ping or something else? If you're participating in NaNo, how prepared are you?