Thursday, 31 March 2011

One Big Melting Pot

How did I first start writing Blue Star?

Well. It was years and years of accumulating ideas. The title and basic idea actually cropped up in a roleplay I tried making in...08? Sometime around then, I think. Anyway, that was a flop, but it was an interesting idea, so I hung onto it. ALWAYS hang onto your ideas. You never know when you might be able to draw them forth from the grave and give them new life.

I didn't work at the idea, though. I had other stories to write. So I let it sit and fester and ferment. In the meantime, I accumulated other ideas.

I read an article in WIRED magazine about the Russian Doomsday Device "Dead Hand" and thought, wow, scary and cool. Maybe I can use something like that. Tossed the idea in the stewpot and moved on.
There were images--a man standing in front of a strange creature; a train traveling through a desolate snowscape; a pair of people on a bus, one of whom was a strange messenger feared by the public. There was snow, lots of snow, and strange things that people didn't understand. Necromancy, and legal uses for it. And drugs. They all got tossed into the stewpot and left to simmer.

Finally, when I'd finished telling my other two stories, I decided to give this one a whack. My mind hadn't been in the best state for a while, and I felt like writing something...unpleasant. Something dark and evil. Something with death and drugs. Lots of drugs. Weird stuff. (I can't write normal things. It's a side effect of being me.)

So I jammed my arm into the stewpot, right up to the elbow, and stirred things around a bit. They'd fermented long enough at this point that when I withdrew my arm--well, you know that gooey corn syrup-flour-whatever mix? It's soft and sticky but peels off of you? Yeah. It was kinda like that. I started pulling at stuff and poking and things just sort of came together. I grabbed the beginning of something I'd just sort of plunked out during a rewards assembly for my sister (hey, it was boring, don't look at me like that) and got started.

What about you? Do you let ideas sit?

1 comment:

  1. Letting ideas sit is one of the most fascinating new ways to come up with story concepts and ideas. It's how I came up with the setting for Cry Havoc. I've always been a fan of dark fantasy, and I had about twelve different ideas that got mixed together and thrown into the creation of the world.

    I suppose that a large part of the world concept stemmed from a rebellion against Tolkien-esque high fantasy: there's nothing wrong with it, but I always end up feeling like it's too black and white. I wanted to deal with shades of gray. With that in mind, I created a setting where humanity had created a number of 'other races' that were really just magically-altered humans whose abnormal traits passed on from generation to generation. Many of them were inherently dangerous, having originally been designed for wartime purposes--but then again, mankind himself is rather dangerous, isn't he?

    I'll be honest, though. The reason I started playing around with the world in the first place was because I wanted a setting for a character concept I had in my head--a sentient flesh-golem. I originally intended for him to be one of the main character of the tale, but in the end he became a background figure in the world mythos. Who knows? In time, I may decide to make him the focus of another story in the Cry Havoc universe.