It’s been a little while since I posted last. In that time I’ve wallowed in a new story idea and I’ve completed another draft of Restless, which is now off with crit partners. This means I’ve got a bit of time on my hands, and it’s time to start making decisions about the Sea Story. I have my characters, my plot and my setting, but there is still one element I haven’t quite figured out. To me, it’s the most important part: Atmosphere.
All writers face the question, “Where do you get your ideas?” It’s a hard question to answer, because as far as I can tell, ideas are the flotsam and jetsam of the mind. They are the waste product after all your experiences, all the things you see and hear each day, have been sorted and cataloged in your brain. They are the mulch of our lives.
There are so many ways I could answer that question, but there is one answer I think would confuse people. I get my ideas from video games.
Not the core ideas, mind you. Not the plot or character or setting. But the most important part: Atmosphere.
I think I’ve mentioned before that I can’t start a story until I have the atmosphere down. The few times I’ve tried, I’ve lost interest in the story pretty quick. But honestly, I never knew this about myself until I discovered video games, or one video game in particular.
Now, I know I won’t be able to convince you to play the game itself, but here’s a sample of the music:
True, I could probably just listen to some music, but there is something so immersive about video games. In a way it’s like my post on wallowing. For a few hours, or a few days, you can get lost in this other world.
The game above was how I landed on the atmosphere for Restless. The video game I will be playing this weekend, and which I hope will help me nail down the atmosphere for the Sea Story, is called Heavy Rain. I think you can hear why:
And once I have my atmosphere, there will be nothing left but… to write!
I’m excited and nervous and I’m trying not to think of how long it will take me to write another book. A book is such a huge commitment. You really need to be sure. You have to know it’s the story you can live with for the next year or more. And the great thing? I’m certain. I’ve been unsure with other stories, but not this one. THIS is the book I’m meant to write.
I just hope I can do it well.
P.S. For the curious among you, Flotsam and Jetsam are different kinds of shipwreck. I think that’s kind of apt, don’t you?