Thursday, 7 August 2014

On the subject of ideas...and books of ideas...

I mentioned a book of ideas a few days back and since then, a few people have been in touch regarding whether or not the item in question was available on Amazon, because it’s so difficult to get good ideas.  With this in mind, I had a moment of thought on how important ideas actually were and what can be done to cultivate them and then further develop them. 

The book that I referred to is one that was actually hand drawn for me by my wife, in which she simply put down a one line idea on every two pages, which I’m going through one idea at a time, not missing any, not going to the next one that I find interesting, working through one step at a time, nothing more, nothing less.

The key to this is that when you only work on ideas that you want to work on, you discount the ideas that you don’t want to work on, and the problem with that is that when you’re working on an idea you like, they all tend to be the same, because you as a person very rarely change in any meaningful sense of the word.  The best way around this is to make sure that you occasionally work on ideas that are ideas that you haven’t considered before or ideas that you wouldn’t choose to work on.

Case in point the scan in question, the page on the left is the idea that Today is a Yellow Day, the idea on the right page (as can be seen at the top of the page) is The Smell after Rain.  Herein lies the wonder of having someone who has a fundamentally different outlook on stories to you doing the ideas for you to write up.

I should make that clearer, both Jude and I love adventure stories, but I have a strong focus towards the darker side of human nature and horror, whereas she likes heroes to get the ending they deserve and live to reap the rewards of all the heroics that they’ve done to get there.  She likes happy endings, I merely favour endings, whether or not the heroes live to collect what they work for.

The glorious thing of this is that almost all the ideas that Jude has for me are ideas that would make fundamentally gentle and good stories where the heroes get what they worked for, but because of the way my mind works, the concept of Today is a Yellow day was turned from a story about the sunlight to a story where every place in the world exists under a colour coding system, ostensibly to indicate the level of danger from the sun that day.  How I saw it was what if the yellow represented minimal danger from todays nuclear bombardment, Green, none at all, and Red...

Well, Dead...

The other story is The Smell after Rain, which would surely be seen to be that clean smell that comes when the rain has just stopped, but in this story is something else, it’s the scent left behind by those things that live and move around in the rain, it’s the smell left behind by the shadows and what they do when no one else watches.

I’ll not reveal the stories in their entirety, to do so would be to pass on the ideas to everyone else, and these ideas were given to me, and I’ll not share my girls excellent present with everyone else, because Ideas are precious, hers especially so to me. 

But what I will do, if there’s sufficient interest, is I’ll put one idea a day up on this blog for people to look at and use or not use as the need strikes them.  Chances are that they’ll not be to the same level of poetry that my girl puts forwards, but they will be ideas, and they might inspire others to write...

If that’s of any interest anyway


Let me know...

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