Bits And Pieces
If you are anything like me, then you spend most of your day with your head in the clouds, always dreaming, mind always in motion. My imagination is constantly throwing new ideas my way (most of them are garbage, but it’s finding the hidden gems that’s always been the real trick, isn’t it?) and I usually end up with a lot of overflow as far as my writing is concerned.
My ideas tend to come in the form of possible characters, or different settings, or even just a scene or line that I want to use. In fact, most the ideas I like best start out as a single line I want a character to say, or some simple visual that’s stuck in my head.
Let me give you some examples of what I’m talking about. Here are some random scenes I thought up this morning. These are by no means good, but they illustrate my point well enough, so here goes:
Onward they danced. Around them, the rocky plateau collapsed, shards of Earth breaking away and each beginning the steep descent downwards. The man and the woman knew there was no escape, no way off the dead end they had climbed onto, and so they waltzed at the end, the waltz of the damned. Moments of bliss passed, both of them almost forgetting the death knell of cracking rock that signaled their impending fate.
Then the ground finally gave way beneath them and they started their brief journey to oblivion. They grasped each other, seeking comfort in the fall. The man had always heard that each person dies alone, that no one could accompany them into the void. So he just held her tighter, hoping against all hope that an exception would be made in this case.
Yup, it’s a pretty strange visual. But the genesis of this idea was me thinking about a couple dancing as the very ground under their feet crumbled away, and what an interesting image that was.
Alright, alright. The next one is slightly less obvious.
Giovanni opened the door of his apartment, having just gotten off a long day at work, only to have a gun shoved in his face. The assailant, a large man in a black suit, quickly put his hand over Giovanni’s mouth and pulled him into the apartment, where he had apparently been waiting. Giovanni was thrown into a chair and bound hand and foot. Only then, once that was finished, did the assailant speak.
“You really pissed off the wrong people, you know that?”
Giovanni was dumbfounded. “Huh? What? Who are you?”
“I belong to a secret organization that operates from the shadows, so far-reaching we could have found you if you had run to the moon, so hidden you would never have noticed us coming until ten minutes after you were assassinated had we wished it, so ancient we practically coined the phrase ‘none of your business’. You thought you could fuck with us, but we intercepted your packages! Thinking you could use your job at the post office to help smuggle the goods into the country was a smart play, but we found you out.”
“What are you talking about?” said Giovanni frantically, “Jim who works at the post office lives next door!”
“…oh.” was all the assailant said, then quickly strode out of the room, leaving Giovanni tied to the chair with a confused expression on his face.
Now, I bet you are thinking that particular scene originated at the punchline, but in actuality that was just something I threw in when I was expanding on it. The original seed for this came from the line, “we coined the phrase, ‘none of your business'”. To clarify, I thought that up after I had just awoke this morning, and was still very tired after only getting four hours of sleep, so while back then I thought it was absolutely bad-ass, now I see it in a bit clearer light.
I love tracing the origins of the ideas I come up with, finding out why some of these strange scenes enter my head. It shows me a lot about the way I perceive things. And yes, I realize both those ideas were fairly terrible.
The only issue with this system of thinking things up is that often when I’m trying to write my novel I get distracted very easily by a myriad of random, unrelated concepts and I can’t get anything done! There are ups and downs to everything, I suppose.
Brendon “imagination run rampant” Regier