It’s too early for this to be a project file because what I have right now is a bundle of ideas that might, one day, become a story. I’m going to do something new and share a little bit of my creative process. I have no idea if this is a good process or not. I can only say that it works for me.
Mostly works for me.
It started with character. With two characters. Two characters with similar names from very different sci-fi settings and me idly wondering what it would be like if they met.
Then by some strange alchemy a plot appeared in my mind almost fully formed. These two, very different characters, would be obvious rivals but if you know the characters well enough you know that they’d also be secret friends. The story would need to have them secretly working together on something. That sounded like it could be a heist. With their rivalry as a distraction. A rivalry that would certainly play out in a casino in front of a bunch of witnesses.
At this stage my writing todo list has a few items on it. Create my own versions of these characters and the Casino they’re in. Decide on the game of chance that they’re playing, maybe invent one depending on the setting.
So now I have a framing scene, two legendary gamblers on opposite sides of a high stakes game of chance in front of a large audience. While these two spar a robbery is underway. An extremely complicated robbery. Narrative structure demands that the robbers are stealing a macguffin. So that’s a couple more things added to my todo list. Invent macguffin. Plan heist.
Which leads me to ask why the team doing the robbery are willing to risk so much? Who are they, what do they owe and to whom? How are they involved with my two gamblers?
At this point it became clear to me that the team was stealing something that one of the gamblers already had but wanted to get rid of it. He has this macguffin and everyone knows it, which means he’ll have to hand it over to his masters and he doesn’t think they should be trusted with it. Why does he think that? Is he right? Am I sure this character is a dude? Does he have enough motivation for his actions because now would be the time to add a bit more?
That’s when his backstory came to me. Sadly I can’t share it with you without major spoilers so I’ll only tell you that he’s far more complicated that he appears.
It’s at this point that I realised that I had some major themes developing. Themes around imperialism and colonialism and that if I wanted to proceed I needed to pick a setting.
In the past I’ve had trouble with settings. Sometimes I get so enamoured of my characters that I forget to build the world to hold them. This is where the creativity has to stop for now. Since writing the first draft of this post I have, in fact, come up with a setting and began work on world building but that will have to wait for another post.
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