Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Writer’s Wednesday

Wednesday, February 24

A couple days ago, I decided that I would make Wednesdays' blog post about writing. In particular, the post will be dedicated to writing ideas. I really can’t tell you how these ideas pop into my mind. Yet, I am willing to share them with you.

The two words that would describe this process would be “free association.” My definition of this term is where an item (object, story, event, conversation, etc.) triggers an idea or thought that may be associated or not with that particular item. This may not be the true definition but I associate the term to those movies where they show an ink blotter and the patient gives an unfettered response.

This is pretty much the way my mind works at times. Whether I am watching television, reading a newspaper, talking to someone, eavesdropping on two strangers talking in a line, I find myself in a situation where story ideas are popping up in my mind. I try my best to document every one I come across but sometimes they do escape. Now, here is an example.

What does space junk, a ghost, someone who doesn’t know how to drive and a police investigation have in common? In the real world, they have nothing in common. But to me, they are the basis of a story. Whether it be a short short, a short story, a novella, or a novel, that would be hard to say.

Where did these ideas come from? Well, let me tell you. From a wide spectrum of places. Here they are

  • A ghost – from a writer friend’s blog post about a ghost cat.
  • Space junk – from a story off of Yahoo! News yesterday.
  • Someone who doesn’t know how to drive – a comment my mom made this morning about a friend.
  • A police investigation – from a story in The Times of Shreveport, yesterday morning.

Time to put them all together. The story is about a mischievous ghost who accompanies a police detective with psychic powers after they get a report of space junk coming down in a wooded area. Every time the detective goes to his car, the ghost insists in driving it. The detective nixes the idea for two reasons: the ghost doesn’t know how to drive and it usually does something stupid on purpose and gets pulled over.

The last time the ghost drove; the detective had a hard time explaining to the highway patrol officer how come the car sped by him at 100 miles an hour. Especially since the detective sat in the passenger seat. If the car had not taken off on its own and disappeared around a curve, the guy would have hauled the detective in. He heard the patrol officer retired the next day.

Granted, this is not much to work with and I hope I can come up with better ideas to share in the future. But think of the possibilities. Then again, it sounded better in my mind than after I put it on paper.

It is at this point that we writers start asking our favorite question: What if… What if the space junk contained another ghostly figure that turned out to be more malevolent than his invisible companion? What if this ghostly figure had it out for the detective? What if this piece of space junk was actually a spacecraft full of mischievous Martians? Mainly, what if….

Now, what if I left this up to you to come up with more “What if…” situations. What would you come up with. Have fun.

1 comment:

  1. Glad the ghost cat story sparked your imagination! I do that too. I'll see someone in the grocery store and something about them sparks my imagination and I'm off, thinking of who they date/marry, what they do for a living, secrets they hide, that kind of thing. I'm mainly inspired by buildings and lore however. Savannah has set the creative juices flowing like no body's business. We have these great live oaks everywhere and one of them has a knot that looks like a face ...that's in my upcoming paranormal series. Can anyone say Dryad?