Friday, July 30, 2010

The Smoking Gun for your Story

Conceiving a new idea is one of the most exciting things a human can experience.

There are so many ways it can happen. You can have it all in a rush, or you can piece it together.

It doesn't matter if you're a nuclear physicist or a marketer-the rush sends you giddy, and all you can think of is implementing this idea.

I'm a writer. I write my ideas.

For a writer, new ideas can be saviours' or they can be the worst possible hindrance.

Mine was a hindrance at first, but eventually I realised I needed to dream up and review things for Little Puppets. So it was off to the magical and frankly fantastic beta reader for the puppets and in its place I embraced Julie.

I'm going to share the conception of this psychotic, calm, disturbed, dangerous, fragile, compassionate, cynical, complex, straightforward young woman. I hope I manage to get your heads nodding and mouths smiling as you think back on the building blocks for what you have today.

The first part came into my head playing 007:The World is not Enough on my Nintendo 64 emulator a year ago. The first mission was the bank and stealing some stuff. The scene warped afterwards, showing a young spy of indeterminate gender walking into a large bank with a metal suitcase. I was very curious about the contents of this suitcase and why it was being delivered, but I was infused with my WiP The Prototype, which later became Children of The River, now renamed Little Puppets.

The second scene came to me in a dream after watching the last Weeping Angel episode in the current Doctor Who season. My friends and I were fleeing Angels and locked ourselves in a classroom up at uni in the Old Main Building. The OMB is a very old, very British building. It is dim, quiet, stuffy, and has no concept of straight corridors. First years find the building a nightmare to navigate. It also has automatic doors in some areas, but not in others, and they are silent. The buidling is very creepy.

When we locked ourselves in this classroom, I turned to see a woman crouching in the far corner. She was robed in white and hooded so I couldn't see her eyes. She smiled and pressed her finger to her lips before standing and approaching.

Then I woke up.

The last piece fell into place a few weeks ago. In class I zoned out and starting looking around the room. One girl caught my eye. She sat alone in her row, watching the slide show with a very guarded expression. Her mannerisms contrasted greatly with the girls around her. She was very pretty, with shoulder length red hair and sharp green eyes you could feel from the other side of the room.

Because it was 9am and I really couldn't be bothered with listening, I wondered what she was like. She looked like the toughest girl in the hall. I think, despite her shortish height, she could deck most of the blokes in the room. She looked tough, yet fragile. Straightforward yet complex. I felt it in her body language.

She became my character. Julie Harper is based on a curious young woman I studied on a whim at 9am in the morning.

The pieces didn't clunk together immediately. I can't say why they eventually did. I put the girl in the bank quite quickly, and when I gave in to the trigger and sat down to write, I remembered the dream.

I can't say why the Valarie were included, it just felt right.

And there it is. That's one story. My question for you all is simply to share the conception of your stories. Everyone loves an idea.

Thank you all, and good night!


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