a journal about writing, interactive whatsits, and everything else
I woke up a few mornings ago with a new idea for a story. The dream I had that night was pretty vivid, but it wasn’t what my idea was about — which I think is strange. Inspiration is one of those topics that is bandied about endlessly, where it comes from, how to track it down when you’ve misplaced it, all kinds of stuff. My final answer is: I don’t know. But I am very excited, because it’s an idea I a) find easy to write about b) is something I think would only work in a hypertext format. The second part has been the hard part for me lately. I have ideas — some ideas, anyway — but I haven’t been feeling the necessity of hypertext as of late. This is different. Let’s see where it takes me.
On a related note: I was skimming over Andrew Plotkin’s web site last night, mainly to re-read the articles on corn mazes and live Icebreaker I enjoyed a long time ago, and finally his Left Foot Living Review finally clicked for me. When I first read it years ago, my main reaction was “hmm”, but finally I get it. It’s almost a set of writing exercises, only instead of practicing writing things (though there is some art in LFLR’s writeups, no doubt), it’s practicing imagining things. Zarf came up with some basic rules of how things could work, then came up with intriguing applications based on that. It’s one thing to say “there’s a drink that turns your skin blue,” but it’s quite another to come up with an explanation for how how that might work, and then that explanation leads to a fascinating idea: a drink that turns you pitch black, but also blinds you. The explanation not only builds up believability, it also lets you imagine things you wouldn’t have if all you had in your head was, “It ummm turns you blue.”
I know, I know, this is Speculative Fiction 101 stuff, but there’s nothing quite like an aha moment, no matter how you get it.
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