Greetings and Salutations loyal blog readers,
This week we’re going to talk about the creative aspect of writing. But first let me catch you up on the happenings around the Swamp. I’ve been very busy with my free range organic zombie business. Since Zombies are in big demand for films and scientific study I’m doing well in that part of my life. It pays the bills. Sadly my writing has dropped off because there aren’t enough hours in the day. Just last week I filled an order for three thousands units for the new season of The Walking Dead.
I put Mischievous Raven in charge of marketing for Blue Moon Zombies, so he’s been traveling about getting orders. I have to say his gift for talking has finally found its niche. I will have to talk to him about his expense account when he returns however.
Miss G. Anna Conda sent us a post card from Brazil where she is currently starring in a documentary about the worlds deadliest snakes. I think Anna likes the attention, but she too complained of not having any time to pursue her first love, which is painting for her.
The leeches are boycotting because of our so-called political incorrectness and the use of clichés like “That guy is a blood sucking leech.” They claim the media treats them badly. And they want the word parasite removed from the dictionary. I mean really, what’s next.
Well let’s move on to our topic. Where do those ideas come from? I’m going to start with an excerpt from a short story called Everything’s Eventual by Stephen King.
“…creative people aren’t always in charge. And when they do their best work, they’re hardly ever in charge. They’re just sort of rolling along with their eyes shut, yelling Wheeee.”
That is the perfect explanation of how my stories get written. And it doesn’t take long for horrific things to start happening. But every story needs a place to start. A seed to germinate in the writer’s mind. For me that could be an image, a photo or a drawing. Sometimes it’s a news story from which I draw out the smallest of threads.
I heard about a trans-continental train getting stranded in the Canadian Rockies. That was the only fact I heard, and from that I put together an idea for a novel that I haven’t yet started working on. This minuscule fact could lead in so many different directions. The possibilities are infinite. If ten people started to write a story from this kernel it could be a man against the elements, it could be a terrorist thriller, or a romance, a werewolf story, or even a romantic werwolf story. Unrequited love and all that.
The point here is this. Ideas are floating around at your fingertips every moment of everyday, and if you’re a writer, all you have to do is grasp one and plant it in your brain. Ideas are mundane in the wrong hands. Two non writers talking: 1st guy “Hey,did you here about the train that was stuck in the Canadian Rockies?” 2nd guy “Yeah, I wonder if they ran out of Champagne.” They chuckle and move on.
It is the job of the writer to turn that into something interesting or horrific. If like me that’s where your mind tends to go. In a creative writing class we were given a random page from a magazine and twenty minutes to write a story based on the image. To my surprise the room filled with groans. I had a photo of a mid teens boy and girl. It was probably selling the clothes they were wearing. I wrote a story of siblings forced to pose for a photo while their separate groups of friends looked on.
Dictionary definition of Writing: the activity or skill of making coherent words on paper and composing text:
It is so much more than that. Writing gives me the freedom to take my characters anywhere and everywhere. To place them in impossible situations, and let them crack jokes about it after they find a way out. The idea is the seed. Characters grow the seed, they water it, prune it, stomp it into the ground and nurture back to life. Living breathing characters take your mundane idea and scare the wax right out of your ears. (No Q-tips required).
Since we are on a roll here, next Friday we’ll talk about characters and maybe the Horror genre. Today I’ll leave you with an excerpt from a poem by Charles Bukowski.
SO YOU WANT TO BE A WRITER
if it doesn’t come bursting out of you
in spite of everything,
don’t do it.
unless it comes unasked out of your mouth
and your gut,
don’t do it.
Until next week, Write On,