New Connections Between Old Ideas

Everything I do is influenced by other … stuff. “There is nothing new under the sun” is a cliché because it is true. I could easily fill a book with ideas triggered by outside inspirations; in fact, I am filling a book with those ideas.

One example: two scenes from the movie “How to Train Your Dragon,” a scene from the TV show “Jane and the Dragon,” a scene from the TV show “Bones,” my knowledge of physics, and multiple influences from other sources I cannot even remember came together to create one sequence in my story.

I was sitting in the dark, as I do every evening, letting my mind run free as I talked to myself about ideas. My alpha waves began to flow and my right-brain became hyper-active creating links between seemingly unrelated pieces of knowledge, experiences, and memories. An instant of magic created the spark of an idea for this sequence. My left-brain then took that idea and manipulated it, refined it, edited it to create the sequence that went into my story.

While I believe some truly original thoughts do occasionally occur somewhere within the swarm of humans that populate the earth, most new ideas are just new connections between old ideas.

Tell Me the Story

One of the worse things to have one character say to another is, “Tell me the story.”

I had the need for a small amount of exposition: a character provides a brief history lesson to explain a current event. This step in the story was planned and outlined, but when I typed “Tell me the story,” I encountered difficulty getting the words of the story right. Three days to create 436 words.

I like the results. With a little more tweaking, the words will be perfect. However, next time, I will avoid “Tell me the story.”