So....I have a topic! This time, anyhow!
Today's topic is....creating ideas from damn near nothing, aka how I come up with most of my ideas. It's very simple in fact. You come up with the base idea, whether it be a name of a character, a title for a book, or just something you think sounds cool. Ok, got it? Then you run with it! As far and fast as you can and in every possible direction as you can think to go. Throw in some light researching to top it off,if you want! Let me give you a couple examples of how that can work.
Tonight when I was driving home I was thinking about what is truly permanent in life. The saying goes that the only two certain things in life are death and taxes. So that got me thinking... Day in and day out what we do really has little effect on the long term of life. Really. I don't mean to belittle anything that anyone does, but it's true. Whether I look up a part for someone's car or that doctor gives a patient medicine to stop some kind of disease, it all eventually has little overall effect on history or the world around us. In the course of human history there are probably 10,000 people who have left a legacy that has any kind of influence on our daily lives. Most of us will never be one of them. To me, that's ok. I'd rather have a deeper personal connection with a handful of people than to just be a name in a book somewhere, hundreds of years later. Don't get me wrong, I want to write books that will last hundreds of years that people will want to read, and if you're reading this, you sure as hell better be one of those people buying those books. You can read them if you want, as long as I get the cash it's all good.
So, to how this has any relevance to what I'm writing today. What if you had that same thought but were a little...off, we'll say. Ok more than a little off. Serial killer kinda crazy, that sounds more appropriate for what I ended up with. If you were THAT type of crazy you might reach that same conclusion, that death is one of the only things that has a lasting impression (ok except in comic books, and that IS where I was taking this character but hey, it's his motivation). In the end, I came up with a crazy dude who decides that the only way he can make a name for himself, his legacy, will be that of blood and death. He starts off with one kill. Then another. Soon he realizes that he will need more and more, like any other junkie the fix wears off and, in his mind, more people come into the world every day to replace the ones that he's...removed. Cheery? Hell no! But that was just an example of how one base idea and alot of random over thinking about an old adage can turn into a story idea. Or character.
Example number two. Years ago I came up with a name for a superhero/villain character. Riptide. At the time all I had in mind was the name, which I thought sounded cool, and maybe, from the conotations of the name, that he would be a water-based hero, in the theme of Aquaman or the Sub-Mariner. Oh and that it was a he. Dunno why on that part, just because. Anyhow years go by and I start adding to it. I decided to go a little different with my version of Atlantis in my stories and decided that this character would be a bad guy. He would be the foil to the hero character, a large, powerful man who was the head of the Atlantean Royal Guard. My villain would be the opposite of that. He would be sneaky. He would be smart. Not too smart for my hero to overcome though, enough to challenge him at the least. Riptide though doesn't start off as a bad guy. The good ones rarely do. He needed motivation. I decided that he would, strongly, disagree with Atlantis opening up realtions with the "surface world" and would take steps to try to set back talks between the two peoples and revert things to "how they should be", according to him.
This was all well and good but I wanted more. So I did some research. Turns out that rip tides are a misnomer (according to good ol' Wikipedia) and that they are called rip...something...I forget. Probably because it isn't relevant. Or that's what I'm saying to justify forgetting anyhow. What I DID learn however, is how they work. Winds hit the shore and, for lack of better wording, reflect back, pushing the water at great speeds, seawards. If that's a word. Towards the sea. Either way, it results in a sudden and violent movement in the water that can result in death. Hey, I thought to my wonderous self, that would be a cool character trait! Maybe this guy is, normally a cool and collected kind of guy but occassionaly can snap and loses control of his temper. Violence often ensues. This also works well for what will eventually push him over the edge from being an ok guy to a villain. Here's a look at him, just a beginning idea, still needs some polish though.
Anyhow I hope that this was, slightly entertaining at least, or informative as to how my writing ideas work, if it seems a bit disjointed well, get used to it, shiny things distract me. And moving pictures. Damn you, television! I'm hoping to get at least a bit of a comic script together for saturday's post or if not, get a MUCH more polished version of my novel's first chapter up for your enjoyment. All depends on what the week brings! Until then, stay awesome, my friends!