Saturday, January 8, 2011

Throw It All Together

Being almost exclusively a Discovery Writer and a Writes-a-Lot, I have the glorious liberty to run with any idea that comes up in the certain knowledge that I'll always have more and that I can always make it work with enough hammering. One of my favorite methods is to decide one aspect of the story [setting, character, plot (ending, beginning, cool scene), "message"] first and then free associate until I've got the three or four images that I need to start writing a good short story. Sometimes it even works for writing a daily blog post.

Let's say that I want to write a story set in the 80s. I was born in 1984 (and lived in Japan for all but my first year of the decade anyways), so I have no real memories of the 80s, yet cultural osmosis has imparted unto me three key images about the 80s:

1. Ronald Reagan
2. Karma Chameleon
3. Cocaine

With this massive store of knowledge, I'm ready to roll into the story, but I need an opening scene. I recall the movie Annie Hall (1977) of a sudden, and (because doing basic research before starting to write the story is counterproductive to Discovery Writing) I assume it was made in or around the 80s. Bam! and we're off.

The great thing about such stories is that the cover art pretty much makes itself...

Coked Up Ronald Reagan Sings Karma Chameleon
by David Barron
Almost certainly based on a true story.

250 words? Yes
Book "Lived Too Long to Die"
Short Story "City Muse, Country Muse"
Short Story "A Blot on the Escutcheon"
Short Story "Bitsy Pollo Save Us!: A Love Story"
Short Story "When What Why?"
- - - -
Reading - ?



  1. Nice. I like all of those elements - to varying degrees. Guess which one I like most!

    I also have a strong and impenetrable desire to write about the 80's, having gone so far as to posit the world of 1987A - the year I was born in another dimension. Basically, I just wanted to make use of those brick-like mobile phones, suitcase computers, and Comintern references.

  2. Wow, your 80s mash0up would look completely different. Unless, in 1987A, the Comintern is a drug gang that developed after the organization was dissolved in 1943. They push opiates masses.

    The bad thing about image editing fast and loose is that now every time I look at the picture I think of ways I could make it look better. Considering the content, that seems unnecessary.

    I apologize for nothing!

  3. As well you shouldn't; the composite image makes your point! Am I safe to presume you're more of a fellow "pantser" than a "plotter" in your writing?

  4. It's not even a question of "more of". I'm one all the way. I do intend to experiment with plotting soon, though, just to see how it feels. I'm Plot-curious.

    The closest I've come to feeling the plan mind has been while I'm writing the Hard SF set on the Moon. That's only because I did so much research beforehand, thus I'm more clear on the "limits" of each plot in the series.


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