I get bored, but I don’t stay that way for long.
I thought as I grew up I would lose the ability to daydream. I can keep my mind on the computer in front of me, or on a list of numbers at hand, and still see something totally different. On the outside I’m completing my routine. But somewhere else, there is urgent business at hand.
My characters know how to bug me. I’ll hear some background noise behind the regular string of thoughts in my head. And if I have a little time to myself, I imagine those strings of words with a scene. A room. A conflict.
That’s how a lot of stories occur to me.
I like to drive places while I’m working on plot points, imagine a scene and then strip it down to the barest structure, like a director asking two actors to perform a scene over again, in different ways. This time, with more anger. This time, with fear in your eyes. Don’t shake her, but place your hands on her shoulders. Make your eyes show your anger. There.
I like to pick things apart. The most fun thing to play with? The emotions of the characters. Is Marradith angry? Is Justin about to beg forgiveness? Why? Sometimes I imagine the emotions and the posture before the words come, and when they do, they flow, bursting over my keyboard faster than I can type them.
For a few months, I had this idea in the back of my head that Justin was going to be in a very bad (emotional) place. And I didn’t know why he was there, or what had happened. But it wasn’t his words that eventually told me what was going on. It was his wife’s.
Imagination is a strange thing. There are answers to everything, and even in the worlds we create, layers of misconception and fear exist.
There is a story I have worked on for about two months on and off, and it seems I conceptualize scenes in sparks of light. Reading it over, I see the noir elements, the dimly lit room revealed under the glare of red city lights. Streets turned silver under rain and lightening. Just as the characters seem to move with caution, the plotting has been just as deliberate.
I decided that I couldn’t chase it. I’d just have to take that one a step at a time, stone by stone.
I think that will be an interesting journey.
©2011 Lori Titus