Moments of Clarity
When you sit down to work on a scenario, you have the blank slate moment where anything is possible. The sheer luminescent whiteness of it all can blind you every bit as quickly as staring across a flat snowscape. Avoid it. Put on the goggles. Remember your delimiters. Only by boundaries can we define and refine. If anything is possible, everything is pointless. We need cause and effect. We need breadcrumbs. We need antagonists to pit against our protagonists. We need conflict. We need dramatic tension.
When we create something, we’re particularizing from the moment true creation begins. If we’re doing a pulp story, like I was working on for Genghis Con earlier today, then we are already placing some constraints upon our story. We can Houdini the thing and not look at the straight jacket as a straight jacket, just as a place we’re going to be for a moment which defines our action. It is the whetstone to the blade of our wit. While more than one folk can wiggle their way out of shackles and such nowadays, it’s not just what we can do, but how we do it. Our execution is every bit as important as what we’re talking about.
For example, I began reading Apocalypse World last night as I’ve heard people rave about it for quite some time. Vincent Baker’s prose style is powerful. He punches you with rolls of quarters in his fists, relentlessly. He is also quite liberal with the use of profanities. The jury out on my final opinion though as, I’ve just said, I’ve only read a bit. I’m certain I’ll come away with some piece of knowledge, be it large or small. I’m especially curious about his concept of Fronts as I feel it may well be something which could inform scenario development for Agents of Oblivion. We’ll see. I don’t want to skip ahead in the work. I want to read the ideas as they’re presented the first time through to properly inform my opinions of the work as whole.
At any rate, realize and embrace the moments of clarity where you ascend the peak and reach your idea and then transcend to the place where you take an idea, tired and trite though it may be to some, and come down with it like a burning ember on the tip of a branch and you give your breath to it and make it your own.
Until next time, I bid you, dear reader, adieu!