The Spark that lights the Flame

Welcome back to another blog hop, with #OpenBook. Here’s this week’s prompt.

Don’t forget to click the purple button to see what everyone else has to say on this week’s subject. It’s at the end of my post.

What are your favourite resources for research?

I love reading scientific journals and perusing the web for juicy nuggets of information. Every now and then, my brain does something to the things I find. It gives me back a story in the form of a live-action film that I can see in my head and write down. The initial prompt that sets off this process doesn’t necessarily have to be specifically Sci-fi related. A lot of my stories could take place anywhere, space is just such a great place to set them.

It might surprise you to know that we already possess most of what we need to colonise another world. All we lack is a place to go and a way of getting there.

I digress.

Magazines such as Focus, New Scientist and National Geographic provide me with a fertile ground for ideas. As do many online resources, too numerous to mention (and I can’t remember most of them anyway, they tend to be at the bottom of internet rabbit holes).

I know that you can’t always believe all you read on the internet but in this case, it doesn’t matter. All I need is the germ of an idea, the voices in my head can do the rest. After all, it’s fiction. And as long as it has a basis (however tenuous) in fact, the possibilities are endless.

Once I’m up and running, I write down exactly what the film shows me and then the real work begins. I have to check that what I’m being shown is credible and possible. That involves a lot of checking in the appropriate journals, articles and websites. A process that often leads to ideas for sub-plots and more stories.

As a side note, it might be almost immediately, or it could take a while for the story to appear, and I never know which item will prompt a story. Not every film I start to watch in my head actually produces a full novel, some stop at the short story stage, others might make a novella. And I’m not always sure that a story that stops might not start again, the occasional one springs back into life after what can be a long break.

For this reason, I have to read a lot of scientific and sociological material and watch a lot of half-finished proto-stories in my head.

Until next time.

Let me know what you think about this week’s subject.

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10 Responses

  1. Daryl Devore

    Sci-fi must be an amazing genre to write – some reality in the science and a lot of creativity.

    • Richard Dee

      It’s also a great vehicle for creating emotions and having adventures.

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