Monday, November 25, 2013

Putting Greelba To Rest

As mentioned yesterday, this was a random story seed from this site. The story seed was "A fuzzy biologist accidentally destroys a set of mystical objects and gets a fungus." It could just as easily have been "an angry woman becomes the castle and discovers the prince" or "A giant llama loses the world and swallows the ideal significant other."

As I said yesterday, some of the best ideas always come with a bit of disbelief and contempt. Usually, at first blush, they seem stupid, then you do a double-take, maybe laugh. Most of the times, when you see an idea and it doesn't seem somewhat ridiculous and ungainly at first, it's probably not a good idea. It might be serviceable or workable, but no more than that.

For example:

I'm going to write a story about vampires and high schools.

Workable, I guess. Not ridiculous at all, though.

I'm going to write a story about Chinese hopping vampires and how they founded American high schools. It's going to feature a character with a learning-related disability. Dyslexia, maybe.

Better! I'm a little embarrassed to admit that on second read through this post, I copied it into my list of story ideas.

All the hallowed stories started out slightly ridiculous. Who in their right mind would base several thousand pages of fiction on a make-believe world with elves? Tolkien must have been laughed at a lot.

Seven novels about a boy in wizard school? Edward E Smith's epic stories about telepathic space cops?

If you give some random person off your street a one-sentence summary of what you're writing and they mock you, then you're probably on the right path. Because conventional wisdom is horse-pucky, that's why; conventional wisdom is a consensus of millions of peoples' pre-conceived notions. It's an averaged response of barely-or-not-at-all-thought-out opinions. Some of it is logical and true: don't eat the yellow snow, don't stick your tongue on that, don't run with sharp objects. Some of it isn't. Sometimes you have to go perpendicular to it and see what sticks to the wall.

I reiterate now to emphasize a point: holy crap, only five more weeks to go! It doesn't seem like it's been almost a year, but here I am. I've had some lame entries, and this final stretch has been producing a lot of short, off-the-cuff stories instead of longer, better thought out pieces, but I've almost made it.

Still undecided what, exactly, my next resolution will be. It will almost certainly be novel-related, though.

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