reflectedeve: Pearl from Steven Universe, in a tux and top hat (everything old is new again)
[personal profile] reflectedeve
I'm having a hibernate-y sort of week, mmf. Determined to stick with [community profile] processfest, though! Today’s prompt is Where do you start?

Which is a tricky one, and really depends on what I'm doing. Most of my fannish output these days is both visual and for some kind of challenge or exchange (giving me the structure to fit it into my schedule in a reasonable manner), so I'm usually working from a prompt or an assigned story, and then it's a matter of finding themes or images that grab my attention. With the latter, it's usually some scene or interaction that seems to capture ... some essential point of the story, of theme or character, even if it's not technically a plot point.

For original work ... having a new story really come together into something with potential is like a sort of mental alchemy, pulling ingredients from all over my life to combine with a mood or image, or some element of someone else's work that catches my fancy. Sometimes I'll wind up mining elements of old ideas (and characters) from past ones that never quite went anywhere. My central project right now, my webcomic/graphic novel, happened because I was pondering dreams, and how to communicate them effectively when they're often so full of gaps, upon later inspection. (I was anticipating an upcoming assignment in grad school.) My mind wandered, and the next thing I knew, bits of past dreams (some several years old, but clearly memorable) started falling into place together. I had never considered writing a story based on my dreams before, but I was wandering in the woods, talking to my classmates and feeling full of possibility, and bam. Alchemy. Images and a sense of mood that wouldn't leave me alone until I'd explored them. (It's not always that organic and compelling! But it was that time.)

Often inspiration comes from something outside myself; some new piece of information that strikes my fancy and starts growing in different and unexpected directions. (I was sitting in class my senior year of college listening to my professor discuss the notion of felix culpa--medieval Latin, sorry, classicists--when I doodled an angel sitting up in a crater muttering “oh, that was so uncalled for“ ... which spawned a story that's been hanging around and mutating ever since.) Or ... I have a number of favorite themes in the back of my mind that I bring out to play with sometimes when I feel the need for something new. I'd been wanting stories about an all-women rock band for a long time; eventually I started inventing some. That was a much more deliberate, conscious sort of effort.

However the idea first comes to me, I know it's taking off when I start having random ideas about the world of the story .. and I've noticed recently that I do tend to start outward from the worldbuilding and work in towards the plot. The dream comic was a series of images and emotions at first, and one very specific, brief sequence of events. I started asking myself questions ... why did that happen? Where were those people? What outside factors lead to that situation? I started to imagine scenarios and cultural factors, and the plot began building itself out of those.

Also, sometimes isolated scenes will pop into my head, with no rhyme or reason in terms of how important they are or where they go in the story. These help to inform the characters and the world. (Otherwise, I mostly write chronologically.)

And as for characters, if they're not part of the initial brainwave, I generally draw my way into them. I play around with design until things start clicking visually, and from there I start figuring out who they are (like the way they look has somehow given me a foothold). Later in the process, I'll start inventing people for specific purposes, but ... that's another post, I think!

This feels rather disjointed and poorly organized, but it's my bedtime, so it's going to have to do. And now I wish I could stay up and write! Process talk is always so inspiring.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-12-04 03:21 pm (UTC)
piscaria: (Default)
From: [personal profile] piscaria
This was really interesting to me! Your thoughts on original writing made me think about my own and how it differs (and doesn't) from fanfiction. That's so awesome that you were able to piece something together from your dreams!

Profile

reflectedeve: Pearl from Steven Universe, in a tux and top hat (Default)
Lilith

March 2017

S M T W T F S
    1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031 

Most Popular Tags

Page Summary

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags