I see ideas as boxes. Like a package from Amazon (one of the best kinds of packages, am I right?). It comes to you, you bring it inside. You have an empty room ready for it, and you take it there and open it. BOOM, explosion. Looks like that little idea box has a lot of stuff packed inside.
All the contents of the box begin to fill the room. Some of it is simple and obvious, like furniture — the developments that come easily from the basic idea. Then you have the stuff you have to open up and inspect, the cabinets filled with knickknacks — the more complex parts of the idea you must turn over in your hands/mind to see every bit of it.
If the brainstorm is my favorite part of creativity, then the unpacking is my favorite part of the brainstorm. When one idea leads to another, then another, and it feels like it will never end. I have that going on with my current story idea. I also have the “staring at self in mirror while brushing teeth” epiphanies, which are fun in their own right.
I have a little time off starting tomorrow. A perfect opportunity to play around with this idea. I was thinking of doing a zero draft by writing it in a “storyteller” format to get the plot down. A fitting method, I think, as it is a story in a tribal setting.
Let’s see what else this box holds.
I’ve been terrible about posting regularly, haven’t I? I promised at least microposts, and here I am slacking off. I’m not just any slacker. A slacker king, I am. Too lazy to get my crown, though. Just imagine it on my head, won’t you, peasants? Perhaps I’ve slipped a bit into my antisocial shape. It happens. Often. I know it’s weird calling this blog “social,” as it’s not like I get a lot of comments or actually interact with anyone, but it counts as such to me.
Dealing with life changes right now. Moved into a different place. Will be getting a roommate tonight. Lots of adjustments. My creativity has suffered as a result. Or at least I’m using it as an excuse. Probably the latter. One reason I’m finally posting an entry! Writing in the blog is better than not writing at all.
Let’s see, what else to talk about? Let’s talk about my creativity. Because I never do that, right? Sorry, it’s just a favorite subject of mine. Plus, analyzing it might help it work better for me.
I’ve been wondering if I want to focus on one kind of general setting for my fiction. I’ve toyed with a few different ones in the past. Most of my older short stories took place in the modern age. Others were more vague “fantasy places,” obviously not modern, but indeterminate as to general time period or location. Never focused much on setting. Perhaps not enough? Anyway, as much as I like modern fantasy, I feel like moving away from it in my own work. Getting away from the clutter we live in. Escaping into escapism. So where do I want my stories to take place?
I’m thinking of creating my own world, or worlds. I still want humans, or at least mostly-humans, but I want to be unburdened with our Earth history and cultures. Get away from preconceptions. I thought a good era would be something ancient. Stone Age, no later than Bronze Age, tribes, maybe some city-states, that sort of thing. Heavy on the magic and fantasy. A lot of the themes I enjoy could fit into such a setting, such as heroism, magic, nonhumans, and mythology.
So that’s where most of my creative energy has gone. Brainstorming ideas for such a setting. Well, probably more than one setting for different stories, just in a similar era. It could just be the way my mood is swinging lately, or it could finally be the direction my creativity needs. Not sure yet. It probably won’t be as easy as I’ve convinced myself it will be. At least with short stories, I can play around, experiment, and not worry about building entire worlds.
One thing I have to deal with in regards to creativity: obsession with accuracy. I can’t stand the idea of writing something and having a factual error. I feel like it would make my entire work lose credibility. This makes me want to do, if I may meme for a moment, ALL THE RESEARCH. Nothing wrong with research. Then again, if I put everything on hold and try to absorb every single fact beforehand because of this fear of maybe not being completely right about something, when will I ever write? I suspect this is another method of mine to avoid creativity. So, I have to get over it. Research only when I need to and no more.
Okay, I’ve written enough for today. Hope it wasn’t too unfocused for everyone. I just felt like getting it all out in one go.
At last, after journeys long and arduous, I have returned to you, faithful blog. Sorry I was gone for so long. Life intruded.
There is stuff I want to talk about! Lots of stuff. Well, a few things, really. Had to choose what to write about, and I decided it should be Magic: the Gathering.
Like all the cool kids, I played this game back in the day. I believe I started when I was in junior high. I’m not talking about “Oh, yeah, I preferred the Guildpact expansion over Dissention.” I played the core game, people. There were no expansions. So, spending all my allowance on booster packs wasn’t that big of a deal. I had at least some chance of “catching them all,” if I may quote the Pokemon. No way I could do that now. I’m one of those people who couldn’t stand not having, if not all the cards, at least a good chunk of them.
I kept playing through high school. Empty classrooms on lunch breaks were perfect for this. I remember losing a lot of matches. Actually, I don’t remember ever winning during that time. Truly a fact that boggles the mind of the game-obsessed me of the present.
Much later in life, I got to play again with some of the same friends I played with back in high school. My cards were long gone by then, so I bought a premade deck (Going Rogue, specifically). Also borrowed decks from my friends, who still had their old collection. And hey, this time I started winning a few. I was especially proud to do it with my Going Rogue deck because it let me imagine a swarm of wicked faeries tearing my opponents apart.
So, I guess I was just a crappy deckbuilder back in high school. Maybe I’d do better if I tried again today? I’ll never know.
My friends and I stopped playing years ago, and I packed my deck away. When I was going through stuff recently, I found it, and it made me remember all this. I love Magic. I wish it wasn’t such a moneysink, or I might try to get back into it. But at least I have memories.
And the old Microprose game, of course. The cards may all be old, but I much prefer it to the new Duels of the Planeswalkers. For one thing, and I know it’s a minor detail, but in the old game all you have to do is hover over a card and it will show you a larger version off to the side. In the new game, you have to scroll the mouse wheel. Like I said, minor nitpick. Also, the new one is too flashy and dramatic. The old game plays just like the tabletop version. It’s a thing of beauty.
It’s just too bad I can’t recreate my Going Rogue deck in it. Beware tiny faerie death.
And now I must get ready for work. In my next post, I may talk about the setting I’m tinkering with. Or maybe not.
I found my Magic: the Gathering deck while packing the other day. I have more to say about it, but no time right now. For now, let me show you the card that shares my nickname. I didn’t plan it that way. I didn’t even know the card existed. Still, now we are connected for eternity. Cool.
This post is nothing more than me letting everyone out there know that I am still alive. You’re welcome.
But seriously, we just moved into a new place and it’s been hectic. Maybe I’ll make a more thoughtful post tomorrow, maybe not. Let me think about it. Until I return, enjoy this picture of a handsome monkey.