I’ve been thinking about the role of props and how they can effect a scene. some scenes have an expected cliche’ that they tend to follow.
example:David sits quietly in the dining room. the candle light bathes the room in a warm glow. A trail of rosebuds lead from the front door and soft music plays in the background. Maria comes through the door and gasps.
while rather impersonal, the scene sets up what could be a romantic surprise or the unwelcome invasion of a stalker.
but then i began thinking about how specific items tend to carry their own expectations.
this time I did the same thing but added a prop.
David sits quietly in the dining room. A trail of rosebuds lead from the front door and soft music plays in the background. the candle light reflects off of the chrome .45 laying on the table. Maria comes through the door and gasps.
The addition of the gun gives the scene a strange new twist. the implied violence of the gun makes everything else seem more ominous.
This also had me thinking about certain stereotypes and the stories that come with them.
I randomly started searching through some magazine (yes, me and one other guy in the world still read paper magazines.) and I mixed a place, a person and an object. I ended up with a soldier in combat fatigues, a crown and a skyscraper. this made me immediately think of a soldier standing at the top of a skyscraper holding a crown. these three things are interesting by themselves, but together they create a strange frothy potential. ( did I just write ‘frothy potential’? jesus, I need to sleep some year, I may be losing my thinky thinky brain speak.) The variations for ideas can be almost endless.( I say almost endless because, y’know the eventual demise of the universe because of heat death.) This and other forms of auto-didaction have become paramount for me.
anyhoo. In the quest to become a better writer I’ve been thinking about these things long and hard. (….too easy.)and soaking up as much information as possible from many different sources. a huge thanks to Chuck Wendig’s writing blog http://terribleminds.com/ramble/. His insistence on the usefulness of outlining made me stop and wonder why the hell I wasn’t doin’ just that.
Now? I’ve been outlining my story and HOLY SHIT does that help. seriously.
I was so damn uncertain as to what the hell I was doing next, that I felt like an apoplectic snake at a rave.
….I don’t even know what that means.
fuck it. I’m keepin’ it. it’s mine now.
hrm. back to the subject. Outlining. it’s the most useful goddamn thing I’ve done all month. I’ve decided I need to incorporate this into other aspects of my life.
Sock drawer? outlined. Fridge? outlined. 150 terabytes of porn? OUTLINED! (and outlined again in another 20 minutes.)
The upside of outlining has also brought my various ineptitudes to the forefront. This allows me to hunt them down with prejudice. stalking them like something something predator.
My weary body demands rest. my weary brain demands………fig newtons. and sleep. actually just sleep. I think the fig newton thing was a hallucination.