My Book of Quotes
Last Fall I took a class where the professor had suggested that we always walk around with a little notebook or composition book on hand to be able to jot down ideas, quotations, and story ideas wherever we were. She suggested we place it with a pen next to our beds every night because you never know, the next multi-million dollar idea or story may hit you in the middle of the night.
So I have done that. I was actually given a standard compositions book at my last job that I never used for work purposes so I just started writing things down as I heard them. Most of them so far have been hilarious one-liners that my friends or I had come up with on the fly without thinking. Some are banters between myself and friends and others are wonderful ways to start a story or a great quirk or characteristic to give a character in my story. For exampleMost of us have heard the term “Spanglish.” To most, it’s just an Adam Sandler movie, but to myself and nearly every Hispanic living in the United States, it is a legitimate hybridized language that results as a mesh of English and Spanish together. But I had never thought of other languages being hybridized until I spoke to a cousin of mine who is from Spain who is studying in Germany and also speaks fluent German. She had told me that herself and many of her other classmates who were also from Spain spoke to each other in a dialogue they jokingly called “Alemáñol.” For the record: the Spanish translation for the Spanish language is, of course, “Español” and the Spanish translation for the German language is “Alemán.”
Another example is from a conversation my girlfriend and I had on the phone. She was distracted (and very entertained, I might add) by some ants she saw crawling around in her room. She had told me that she had given them names and described to me each other their personalities. Some were very social, while others were workaholics not stopping to interact with the other ants on her desk.
The list goes on and on but it was a wonderful idea to have a collection of random things heard or thought of that can certainly be a writer’s greatest tool in developing story, characters, conflict, and even an overall plot.