Loosen up your mind? Ok hippy!
No, seriously though. I’ve had 4 or 5 half baked ideas floating around my head for this book. But the problem is, there were only 4 or 5 ideas, and they weren’t getting me anywhere.
The free writing exercise got me to open my mind to new ideas, which lead to more ideas, which lead to more ideas, which lead to confusion. Those 4 or 5 ideas I had been focusing on where the wrong ideas.
I started to panic. I became verklempt. I needed to take a step back.
“OK Fellas…First Things Fucking Last”
I love a good Reservoir Dogs line. But this happens to be relevant to build my story. I know that good characters drive stories. So most of my mental energy has been dedicated to questions like “who are these people?”, “what motivates them?”, “what kind of job do they have?”, “what’s their favorite color”.
I was banging my head against a wall.(Quite literally. I have to run to the hardware store to grab some spakle after I’m done writing this.)
And then I realized, before I start thinking about people, I need to think about places.
On The Second Day, God Said…
God didn’t start by creating Adam and Eve, he started with the heavens and earth. And you know what, God might be onto something.
I need to create the world these people will live in before I create the people. If I’m going for a political dystopia, I need to think about how society functions. What institutions are in place and how to they interact with society? What cultural forces are at play? How do people, in general, live in this society?
I need to start Nation Building.
George W, eat your heart out.