As previously stated, I’d been down with disease for most of last week. The price for utter invincibility 51 weeks out of the year is that for about five days I get a cold that drops me to the floor and keeps me there, finding center of gravity just long enough to make some tea and put in a DVD.
Now, I in no way recommend using cold medication as a way of experiencing visions, but…hoo boy. Severe Cold Sudafed is not for weaklings. It does not care if you are sick – it will pummel unconsciousness into you until you until you are well again.
And if you want to have martini a little earlier, then you’re on your own.
All of which is to say, that night I dreamed a novel in fragments (suck on that, Coleridge! Any drugged-up asshole could write “Kubla Khan,” am I right? Boo-yah! …Sorry, I’m just being goofy). It was so vivid, so exciting, that even after I woke up at 5 in the morning, sweating and confused (the other great thing about heavy cold medicine is its built-in alarm clock that wakes you up whenever it leaves your system, reasonable hour or not), I knew I’d imagined something interesting. Something that I could work with. So I returned to sleep, semi-consciously ordering my brain to re-dream it so I wouldn’t lose the details.
Which means now the images and major plot points are embedded on my brain.
Granted, my conscious brain had to shake out the bits that were just reruns of old GI Joe cartoons or cut scenes from Halo 2. But even after, I had some good stuff there. Enough to start a new story with, anyway.
Problem is, I don’t exactly know where to start with it.
There’s a book here, I think. Not a big fat one like “Burn Down Bloody Twilight” ended up, but maybe a slender 200-pager.
But I don’t remember how I started that one. I really cannot recall how I took that first step. That moment where I thought, “Okay, I know what this is supposed to look like, now let’s put it down.”
Granted, I expected that story to be around 30 pages, and it ended up close to 400 pages.
But: where to start? I somewhat know the answer. It starts with characters, and right now they’re too vague in my mind. The overarching plot is actually fresher than the characters, and this is unusual for me. Usually it’s the other way around. So now I have to create characters that can fit this story and setting. Sci-fi, so it’s trickier than usual.
Have to flesh out the setting more to figure out what kind of people inhabit it. But not worldbuilding. That’s taking it too far (or, I’m lazy and don’t wanna).
I have a lot of zygotes in my brain-womb (ew), but I don’t know what they’ll look like by the time they’re words on a computer screen (Word Birth Canal? Nevermind).
We’ll see. Maybe then I’ll know what kind of format to put it in.
Never seriously tried a screenplay before…
More later. Consider this an occasional workblog series.