I write like
Jack London

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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Where Do You Get Your Ideas?

"Neil Gaiman's trash can."

My standard answer sounds flippant, doesn't it? Sarcastic. Maybe even rude. It's because I HATE that question. That question is a cop-out.

You want the truth? As Jack Nicholson said in A Few Good Men, you can't handle the truth. The truth is that most people avoid the real question. How can you NOT have ideas?

How can you read a book or watch a movie and not wonder what happens after 'The End'? Did Rick and Capt. Renault join the French Legion to fight the Nazis? Did Potter ever give back the $8000 that Uncle Billy accidentally handed to him on Christmas Eve? What did Scarlet do after Rhett walked out on her?

If you can't sit there at the end of Star Wars: A New Hope and wonder what happens to Luke Skywalker next, then why the hell did you go see The Empire Strikes Back?

Here's an exercise for you. Step outside your front door. Or if you're at work, peek around your cubicle walls.

Outside my front door, there's three houses on the other side of the street. My neighbor directly across from us works second shift. The couple to the right of him both lost their jobs and had to abandon their house. The lady on the left works from home.

What if the first gentlemen actually works for the CIA? Maybe he's trying to prevent an terrorist attack on the Houston Ship Channel.

Did the second couple really lose their jobs? Maybe there's something buried in their back yard. Something ancient and dead that tried to possess their youngest child.

What if the last lady is in the Witness Protection Program? Or is hiding her son from her ex who's in the Mob?

Take what you've got in front of you and spin it into something. You never know what great idea may come out of an supposedly idle thought.

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