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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

More about more about cards


So far the card idea relies on assumption that you have a story that needs to be structured. But that isn't the full extent of its power. It can also be used to collect ideas into an exciting narrative - as HG Wells did.

An analogy: In space, matter and gas collect together over time, very slowly, using gravity. Eventually you have a ball of heavy matter. This then collects more space dust. It gets bigger and bigger until it gets so heavy that it crushes itself and a reaction starts in the centre. A lot of residual dust and gas is thrown off and you are left with a burning star.

This can happen with your story. You want your story to burst into a bright singular point of great ideas. But you need a lot of 'dust and gas' first.

The good news is we see story dust everyday. In events we see in real life. In looks on peoples face. In other TV, film, comics, paintings, opera, theatre, sport etc. But that story dust can't be allowed to drift past. So what do you do with it? You guessed it. Get it on a card.

Eventually these cards may form a pattern, they may create the critical mass to ignite. But no cards - no sun.

The legend is that HG Wells had jam jars for his scraps of paper. If he had a good idea it would go into a jar. So he would have an idea of a two tier society - with an underclass living under the ground. Hmmm. Pop it in the time machine jar. When the jar was full he would write the story. Jar not full - no story.

Cards - use them.

The latest news from Stewart. His are still in the shrink wrapped packet. Oh dear!

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4 comments:

JoNae said...

Hey good to hear from you again. Hope all is well in UK as Paris is lovely. Ok, back to studying francais!!

potdoll said...

Hey Tim thanks for directing me to this - I love the idea of 'story dust!'

Tim Clague said...

Knew you'd like it!

Optimistic_Reader said...

Hi Tim - followed the link here from your comment on Potdoll's site. Love the story dust thing and H.G Well's jars - Jurgen Wolf has a similar tip on his website, based on a technique used by Twyla Tharp. Here's the link:
http://www.timetowrite.com/powerful.html#twyla