Author Topic: I know, I know  (Read 2516 times)

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Offline shester

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I know, I know
« on: April 22, 2009, 09:28:21 PM »
I haven't answered you on the other thread but this came to me today and I had to ask.

Have you ever written a story around a single sentence that you heard?  Whether it be something someone said or a line in a song?

Next question "could you do it, if you haven't already?"



Sybil



Earth.  Terra Firma.  Seems forever it's filled my thoughts, been my goal.  And now...I'm here.
John Crichton-Terra Firma

Offline Nette

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Re: I know, I know
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2009, 05:02:18 AM »
  :excited:

Excellant...another Sybil question.  Look forward to reading your answer Crash    :hyper:


Nette

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Re: I know, I know
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2009, 06:05:27 AM »
Have you ever written a story around a single sentence that you heard?  Whether it be something someone said or a line in a song?

I'm going to go with "several". 

In Need of Sunlight was written entirely around the sentence:  The blind man staggers down the alley.  That one is cheating a little because the sentence just popped into existence inside my head.  It wasn't anything I heard anywhere.  But that's all I had to work with initially.

Bookends spring into existence pretty much fully formed after hearing a short song by Simon and Garfunkel. 

I have a half-written fic now (I actually added to it two nights ago!!!  A miracle!) written around a single line from the song 'Lithium' by Evanescence.

I find that songs tend to generate stories faster than a sentence, probably because there is already an emotional component built into the message.  It doesn't take much to trigger a story idea though.  Cholak's Demon was built up around a single picture in National Geographic of how a light-bending stealth suit might work.  It is technology that our military is actually working on. 

Dean Koontz has an entire series of books -- the Odd Thomas series -- that sprang up out of two short sentences that popped into his head one day.  That's not exactly what you're talking about, but the process is the similar.  You start with a small germ that doesn't even qualify as an 'idea' and within minutes or hours have an epic inside your head.  The first time it happens is a little shocking.  If it happens while you're driving, the odds that you are going to wind up 1) in a ditch or 2) missing your exit on the highway are fairly high.  I've missed exits while dreaming up stories more times that I care to recount.  :laugh: 

Quote
Next question "could you do it, if you haven't already?"

One of the exceptional experiences I've had in this fandom are the fanfic challenges.  Not just the Starburst Challenges, but going all the way back to the SciFi Board.  They challenge not so much writing ability as imagination.  One of the best examples I have is Lost Porkie.  At first glance, that was an ABSURD challenge.  It came out of the amazingly fertile and slightly twisted (in a good way) brain of Pitdog.  I love that story because I managed to take what seemed to be a ridiculous prompt, turned it on its ear, and came up with a good story.  The only challenge response I am more proud of is the story I wrote for Starburst Challenge 11:  Foot Falls. 

So the answer is yes.  I won't say that I could come up with a story for ANY sentence or phrase, but they all have potential.  ;)

« Last Edit: April 23, 2009, 06:15:59 AM by KernilCrash »
Happiness is not a destination.  It is a method of life. -- Burton Hills
Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass.  It's about learning to dance in the rain. -- Vivian Greene

Offline Nette

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Re: I know, I know
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2009, 09:12:21 AM »
I am in awe that just one sentence can bring about these wonderful stories of yours.  Your imagination is an amazing place Crash and thank you for sharing it with us.

I loved "Lost Porkie" and how you brought those words into the story.  Aeryn misunderstanding John's words again   ;)


Nette

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Re: I know, I know
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2009, 11:13:30 AM »
I am in awe that just one sentence can bring about these wonderful stories of yours.  Your imagination is an amazing place Crash and thank you for sharing it with us.

The first time a small germ blossomed into a full-fledged story inside my head was just amazing.  If I had been writing (or at least making up fiction even if I never put it down on paper) my entire life, it might not have been such an incredible experience.  I have occasionally joked that I thought David Kemper had hacked into my keyboard and that he was taking over my machine.  When a story appears full-blown on the page without any sense of a creative process, that's really what it feels like.  The best example I have of that happening is Hush.  That story was just suddenly THERE, with very little cranial activity on my part.  The other totally astounding moment was when I was writing Reversal, and John suddenly began fighting and killing everyone in the hangar bay.  I never envisioned that or intended for it to be in the story.  I was happily pounding away at the keys, and all of a sudden he went into motion. 

:o 

"Hey!!  What the heck are you doing!?!?!  Cut that out!  You're John Crichton!  You don't kill people!  Stop that!!!"  <Crash checks under her keyboard to see if there is a cable leading back to David Kemper's computer.>

And he just kept on fighting.  ;D 

Those moments are so rare and so much fun because the writer gets to experience the story as a surprise and enjoy the unexpected moments the same way the readers do. 

Let me toss out that I believe imagination can be developed and nurtured.  Stephen King's book 'On Writing' was a revelation to me because I was stunned by some of his imagery, and because it revealed so clearly how he continues to take ordinary, mundane moments in life and turn them sideways to create ideas for his stories.  It was after reading his book that I began exercising that mental process.  If you spend enough time looking at everyday sights and events and asking "How could this fit into a story?", it eventually turns into a habit and an at-your-fingertips kind of tool that you can use for creating stories.

I work a couple of days a week at a video shop -- the type of place that rents out DVDs.  Yesterday, a woman came in with a 4-5 year old boy.  The child, Riley, proceeded to absolutely trash the shop while his mother did almost nothing to stop him.  It took me about 3 hours in between customers to find all the DVD covers and tags that he had misplaced and put them back where they belonged.  I never got upset because 1) it's just DVDs, not airplanes; and 2) because from the moment it started, I realized I had a great background character for a story.  I was getting a bang out of watching this thoroughly undisciplined, energetic child be just that ... a child.  He's exactly the sort of person that a writer wants to save up and plug into the scenery when the story can stand a little not-central-to-the-plot mayhem somewhere. 

Seeing stuff that way takes time, practice, and a routine of storing up notes whenever you see a studendous personality like Riley's. 

Happiness is not a destination.  It is a method of life. -- Burton Hills
Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass.  It's about learning to dance in the rain. -- Vivian Greene

Offline Nette

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Re: I know, I know
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2009, 06:57:49 AM »
The first time a small germ blossomed into a full-fledged story inside my head was just amazing.  If I had been writing (or at least making up fiction even if I never put it down on paper) my entire life, it might not have been such an incredible experience.  I have occasionally joked that I thought David Kemper had hacked into my keyboard and that he was taking over my machine.  When a story appears full-blown on the page without any sense of a creative process, that's really what it feels like.  The best example I have of that happening is Hush.  That story was just suddenly THERE, with very little cranial activity on my part.  The other totally astounding moment was when I was writing Reversal, and John suddenly began fighting and killing everyone in the hangar bay.  I never envisioned that or intended for it to be in the story.  I was happily pounding away at the keys, and all of a sudden he went into motion. 

:o 

"Hey!!  What the heck are you doing!?!?!  Cut that out!  You're John Crichton!  You don't kill people!  Stop that!!!"  <Crash checks under her keyboard to see if there is a cable leading back to David Kemper's computer.>

And he just kept on fighting.  ;D 

Those moments are so rare and so much fun because the writer gets to experience the story as a surprise and enjoy the unexpected moments the same way the readers do. 

 :laugh:  You channel David Kemper...maybe it's the other way around   ;)

To be able to have a complete story like Hush in your head must be an amazing experience.  It was a very enjoyable story.  I haven't read all of Reversal yet so this fight scene will bring on thoughts of how wonderful it is that you can surprise yourself with your writing the same as we are.  I look forward to finishing this one.

Quote
Let me toss out that I believe imagination can be developed and nurtured.  Stephen King's book 'On Writing' was a revelation to me because I was stunned by some of his imagery, and because it revealed so clearly how he continues to take ordinary, mundane moments in life and turn them sideways to create ideas for his stories.  It was after reading his book that I began exercising that mental process.  If you spend enough time looking at everyday sights and events and asking "How could this fit into a story?", it eventually turns into a habit and an at-your-fingertips kind of tool that you can use for creating stories.

I work a couple of days a week at a video shop -- the type of place that rents out DVDs.  Yesterday, a woman came in with a 4-5 year old boy.  The child, Riley, proceeded to absolutely trash the shop while his mother did almost nothing to stop him.  It took me about 3 hours in between customers to find all the DVD covers and tags that he had misplaced and put them back where they belonged.  I never got upset because 1) it's just DVDs, not airplanes; and 2) because from the moment it started, I realized I had a great background character for a story.  I was getting a bang out of watching this thoroughly undisciplined, energetic child be just that ... a child.  He's exactly the sort of person that a writer wants to save up and plug into the scenery when the story can stand a little not-central-to-the-plot mayhem somewhere. 

Seeing stuff that way takes time, practice, and a routine of storing up notes whenever you see a studendous personality like Riley's. 


This is great.  You took what would normally be an annoying situation and turned it to your advantage.  Not that I am a writer but I will think of this next time I see something that may be out of the ordinary.

Thank you Crash for more insight into your writing process, it is both fascinating and a joy to read, like little stories all of their own.


Nette