our dreams are our stories
Why do we read/write/watch stories? Why do we need thousands of them and always new ones?
It’s not just escape and fun. It’s also survival of the species.
Each of us has the potential for thousands of different personalities/lives. Some are stronger than others, but all are capable of growing and becoming dominant.
When a group of people faces a crisis together, the individuals by nature (like water finding its own level) take on roles (like “leader”) that are necessary for survival — with previously hidden potential coming to the fore.
In reading and writing storise, we exercise these potential lives within us, and vicariously acquire experience, which could, under unexpected crisis situations, prove important for the survival of the group or the species.
That’s also why it’s important to preserve and read thousands of old previously out-of-print and forgotten books.
That is from an e-mail from Blogging about Books and I find it particularly true for myself. I live a normal life in South Dakota, going to college, and living at home. I don’t really have any adventure.
But with my stories, I can enter in any world I can create. I can do things that not only do I not have the money for, nor do we have the technology for, but that I cannot physical do here.
The other reason why I write is because I can create worlds. Yes, we have a pretty nice world here. But what if we changed something?
Writing is us experiancing the world in ways that we (hopefully) never will have to and it is us taking on personalities, hidden behind names and other occupations, that we wish we had, or that we wish we could overcome.
So maybe, instead of telling new writers to write what you love, maybe we should tell writers to write what they want to do. Write themselves. That’s what I did after all.
where do plots come from?
I only remember snapshots of those months. That is normal. Most of the time while writing a story, time just passes me by until there’s a click of realization. The clicks I remember clearly, because it’s like I realize two pieces of a puzzle that don’t appear remotely similar can be linked with just one little piece. Those are the moments that make writing exciting. However, the everyday moments of putting words on paper–words that are sometimes cut out completely later on–isn’t usually remembered.–(From Flashes of Imagination)
I commonly see this question answered by authors on their websites. In many ways, it is a very good question. Where do the plots come from?
In some ways, they seem to pop out of thin air. I tell my mom it’s like a bouncy ball is in my head and it is always bouncing around. Sometimes it’s like this ball hits the right spot and–boom!–I have a plot. Or at least, the beginning of a plot.
Because unlike what I would like to happen, a plot isn’t something that just appears out of thin air. It takes time to develop.
Let’s take Shad for example, which I know that no one has read but I know how it developed more. When I first thought about the plot, I had a piece of wood with a string on it that I was playing around with. I twisted the string around the nails and made a ship. Then, I started thinking about this person, who worked on a place like in Titan AE, so it’s like a recycling plant, who wants to be a mail runner and how he becomes it. Since that didn’t really interest me, the concept did more, I wrote it in my notebook and stowed it away.
Fast forward quite some time and I’m sweeping the dining room floor. I start having a conversation between the characters in my head. Out of that conversation comes the concept of Shad thinking himself as the best pilot and also the concept of sweeper ships.
Fast forward again a few more months and I decide it’s time to pull out my notebook and start writing down details of the story. I write down how they get food, how they get supplies. What they wear. How they act. Everything. I create for myself a society. I also get excited and write a few scenes.
However, I didn’t actually write anything for Shad until a year later, Maybe that is why it came out so well. During this time I was editing another story (Hope) which I wanted to finish before I started a new one. Two weeks before I started at a tech school, I told my mom that I really want to write this and I think I should, because otherwise it might just disappear. She said why not? I ended up writing Shad within three months, from August to Thanksgiving.
Now, between that time obviously I had to figure out things like who Shad’s parents were and where he came from and things like that. I don’t remember how I figured out the ending. I don’t remember how I realized the captain’s background (a rather nice little piece.) I don’t even remember why I decided that Shad needed a pet, except that I wanted a way to show that he wasn’t just some random tough guy.
Ironically, I usually can’t tell you want my plot is until I finish a story. For Shad, I thought it was his race. When I finished though I realized what it really was: Shad finding his place in the civilized galaxy.
The bottom line is that plots take time to develop. Plots usually have more than one issue involved in them. It’s almost like an onion, with the many layers that all comes down to it. But where do they come from? Thin air I think. Random ideas and thoughts connected in such a way that most people can’t even see them. They just pop in and then I knew how to exactly write something interesting.
So, does anyone else know?
How does I describe what it feels like to be suddenly overloaded with information? Everything can be fine at one moment. You’re sitting at the side of the road, watching the cars driving down. The normal roar of the engine is just like any other day. The cars drive through the puddles, splashing water in their wake. It’s just a voom, voom. voom. Then suddenly, there’s a moment when there is too much. The vooming is too loud. There is so much going on. It’s feels like all the noise in your head is trying to pound through it and beat on it. It’s like there’s a ball bouncing around in the head, pounding, pounding, pounding. Someone reaches into your chest and squeezes your heart and there is this pounding. It feels like you’re going insane. Like, you can’t control anything and just need to get away from the noise and from the pounding and from everything.
“And that was when you snapped?”
Bad news. There’s nothing else! Nada.
I was thinking about this while riding my bike home on Friday. It kinda just popped into my head. And I haven’t really pursued it yet but I’m tossing it out there as prompt.
What was really awesome with this was I told my mom basically what I wrote up there and she thought it was really good. Actually, she thought someone else wrote it, not me. That’s always awesome. (She doesn’t know how well or not well I write though, because she hasn’t read much of anything I wrote, but that is pretty much okay with me.)
So that’s all. Take it or leave it as you will. It’d be kinda interesting though to see what other writers do with this, so I have this post set up for trackbacks. If you write something off of this, stick the link in the post so we can see what happens. (Yes, that is totally random. But it would be cool.)