Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Paper? What is this paper you speak of?

First off, I have to save I love my computer. If it wasn't for computers and word processors I probably wouldn't be a writer today instead I would still probably be a computer programmer. (Okay I guess I was sort of destined to be a writer.)

The computer is great for recording a series of events and for letting my thoughts flow in a fast and orderly manner. I can type almost as fast as I think. Heck, sometimes it appears that I type faster than I think. (Ask my editors.)

The thing is there are times when I need to free form. I have this dilemma in my next novel: The Sapphire Sirens. I have a character from a seemingly near perfect closed society who needs to be killed. The thing is I needed:

1) A way to kill them. How does somebody kill somebody in a society where there has been no death in a LONG time.

2) Since I wanted the death to be subtle and not a right out obvious murder I needed a way for the other society members around this person to figure out, "Hey, this isn't natural! This was a murder."

I tried sitting at the computer and writing it out. Step by step. Just to see what would flow out. Didn't like the results.

So last night while watching Eureka and also watching the Mets game (on split) I took a pad of paper and starting free forming (well writing) words. The words in order were:

Death... Dying... Subtle... Death (yeah I wrote that already) Death of a Salesman... Death takes a vacation... Death takes a day job... Death of vauldville... Poison...

I circled poison. I knew all along this had to be done with poison. Then I drew and arrow from poison and started scribbling phrases:

Arsenic... Arsenic and Old Lace... CO2... New Poison... Designed Poison Poison Pen... Death by Chocolate... Pen Pal...

My mind then somehow linked these phrases and I had the perfect subtle way to kill this character.

So the first part of my problem was done. Now I just needed to find a way the other characters could figure out this character had been poisoned. New piece of paper. New scribbles:

CSI, CSI Miama, CSI Cleavland, Monk, Skunk, (no idea where that came from), Watson, Holmes, House, Fox, 10 Little Indians, Cleavland Indians, I don't believe the Mets are losing... Argh... Mets are losing... Washington Nationals... (I then drew a circle around them with arrows through it. Okay back to detecting poisons...)

Blood, sweat, tears, dna, bad aura, swab...

Somehow on that sequence it hit me. I had my answer. Let's just say sometimes the simplest solution is the best solution. I then popped back to my computer (checked my email, checked my WoW email) and then picked up where I left off in my outlining process. Now trying to turn the chaos into an orderly (and fun to read) sequence of events.

Hopefully it worked!

Now on to my rants for the day:

Last night watching Colbert Report I ran into this charity Nothing but Nets they send netting to Africa to help prevent malaria. A really good cause. Check em out if you get a chance.

Still thinking about Tina Fey's performance as Sarah Palin. Now I'm convinced, Tina Fey should be VP.


Steve Steiner said...

interesting. Did you learn this technique from a book or person, or just kind of stumble into it as working working for you?

Johnzakour said...

Just stumbled since I am a hack cartoonist and doodler at heart.

Steve Steiner said...

I can relate :)