All too often someone will want to tell me their idea for a ‘great story’ which is yet unwritten.

I’ve learned to stop friends before they get too deep into their story, with the suggestion that they should stop talking, go home, and start writing. The fact is, I don’t want to hear their plot just in case one of my future projects touches it ever so slightly, which might be construed as ‘stealing’ their idea.

I call the more vexing variety of story tellers the ‘plot-masters’. These people have ‘great ideas’ but just ‘don’t have the time’ to write. I really, really, absolutely, do not want to hear a word they say because at some point they will likely say, ‘I’m offering you a story line which you could write and we could share the credit for as co-authors.’

Geez Louise! Please save me from the plot-masters and their story lines!

Invariably, they have not read any of my nine books. Most often they have not read much fiction at all. And I have never yet heard one plot-master that understands the very basics of the craft of writing. In their mind all I have to do is add the ‘filler.’ You know, the character development, dialogue, dramatic pacing, and all the rest of the ‘filler’ that makes good reading.

That is why I placed some of my notebooks in the photograph for this post. They contain thoughts on my projects, you know, ‘filler.’ Some projects have been published but many others are in the cue. If I keep rising before the sun and writing for three or four hours each morning , maybe I’ll turn a few more ‘story lines’ into books.

Ideas are easy, writing is hard.