The Life of a Story

For me the moment of conception is hard to pinpoint.  Generally speaking it begins with one of two things.

The mental image of a single scene – either from a sleeping or waking dream.  I often expand that scene into an exchange and from that exchange a background develops and at some point it hits critical mass and a whole world explodes into being inside my head.

The other option for me is a word or idea.  For example, the words government soup recently struck my fancy.  I realized there was something inherently amusing about government muck ups in a bureaucratic nightmare kind of way.  So from there I began to craft characters to fit into this urban fantasy style ‘Office’ scenario.

The gestational period varies a lot.  There are some stories that I began years ago that still haven’t really been birthed onto the page.  And yes, if it sounds gross and messy it often is.  Creation is not a pretty business. Beautiful at times, but not necessarily pretty.

Let us imagine the first two hurdles are overcome and the story begins to grow on the page.  As I watch it grow from zero words to a hundred to a thousand I feel like a proud parent.  I wonder how it will turn out and if it will go as expected or suddenly take a turn for the worse.

There are times I am secretly very proud or embarrassed depending on what the story does.  I haven’t seen my stories to full maturity yet, they are still growing in a lot of ways.  I feel like the oldest might be a confused early twenty something, but I am working on changing that.

How do you start your stories? What impetus drives your muse?

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About Brandon

Just call me B, or Brandon. Either is fine. I like to think of myself as an American nomad. I have moved so many times I have lost count. Worked in warehouses and cubicles, had a corner office in Hawaii, and spent some time in India. I find that as different and varied as people are across the country and the world they are still really the same. I remember people that have had a good story to share. I hope I can share some of their and some of my stories with you. I am working on reviewing and some other creative projects with my partner. Find me on Twitter @bmcrew2
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