Tuesday, 31 July 2012

The Odd We Things We Research

Last night, in the spirit of getting back in the creative saddle I decided to do some research / inspiration finding around a story idea I have brewing.

I like building images in my imagination around pictures or fragments of phrases. That's one reason I like flash fiction contests so much, particularly those with visual and verbal prompts. It's like being given a stage, to let your actors loose on.

My Dystopian London pin board is the result - largely fuelled by amazing images from Urban Explorers of the type found on the SilentUK and 28DaysLater websites (if you have never seen them, take a look).

Who could you imagine living here?

 What would they be doing?

Charlton Storm Relief Sewer on SilentUK.com 
Then what else?

I found myself researching all manner of things, from catastrophic global events through to autism-related disorders and spontaneous mutation, wormholes and Stephen Hawking's views on time travel.  On reflection, I'm not sure that a deluge of information is all that useful.  It's too easy to get rail roaded by the facts, to limit your imagination and to think too narrowly, not expansively.

In actual fact, it's always that moment before sleeping that my best ideas occur -  in a half dreaming state a million miles from a computer or reference.  It's at those times that information flows loosely, swirls about and collides and new blossoms germinate in the resulting compost.

So enough on the research.  I'm off to the beach with a notebook in hand and a visual imprint in my mind.

I do like the pictures though.


Andrea said...

Just before I go to bed, I always plan out the smoothest dialogue. It always sounds lovely, and it is absolutely perfect. And forgotten by the morning.

Meg McNulty said...

I do the cliche of having a notebook by my bed. I scrawl a reminder in it half asleep - looks like a spider has died on the page but if I CAN read it it reminds me. I've got a half baked story forming that is starting to excite me!