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The Gruel of Writing

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Note: Whups! I meant to call this post “The Stork Brings Ideas Too?” Aw well, enjoy.

The inevitable question asked to auteurs is: Where you do get your ideas? Some people’s takes on it:

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Editing at work on my favorite boss

Bill Watterson (In The Calvin and Hobbes Tenth Anniversary Book): People always ask how cartoonists come up with ideas and the answer is so boring that we’re usually tempted to make up something sarcastic. The truth is, we hold a blank sheet of paper, stare into space, and let our minds wander. (To the layman, this looks remarkably like goofing off.)When something interests us, we play around with it. Sometimes this yields a funny observation, sometimes it doesn’t, but that’s about all there is to it. Once in a while the cartoonist will find himself in a beam of light and angels will appear with a great idea, but not often.

J.K. Rowling (In the Frequently Asked Questions section of her website): I’ve no idea where ideas come from and I hope I never find out, it would spoil the excitement for me if it turned out I just have a funny little wrinkle on the surface of my brain which makes me think about invisible train platforms. (Some say that she said this simply because she doesn’t want to admit that she lifted the ideas from other books, like The Legend of Rah and the Muggles, but that’s beside the point.)

William Shakespeare (In Shakespeare’s Spy by Gary Blackwood): Well, not to let the cat out of the bag, but there’s a certain shop at Kings where you can buy them for half a crown, five shillings for the really good ones… The truth is, I have no idea where they come from. Sometimes, they simply burst of my head and flow like water, sometimes they come in little packs, but there are also times when your head is as dry and as parched as desert. And when that happens… the only thing left to do is to steal one from someone else. Oh, don’t look so sad! Don’t you know that there are no new ideas?

We all want to know where ideas come from. But we can only say when they came. Why do we want to know where their ideas came from? The answer: Easy, pure laziness! If we do what they did to get their ideas, we’ll get ideas too!

I remember where all my ideas came from. They came from a depraved and tortured mind. (If you want to see the list listing off all my movies, then read my user page!)

Lowing Steer? Really crazy dream I had. Do-wop singers in the background. Dr. Seuss art style throughout. Skeletal cows haunting and mad old tycoons rambling on and on. Had too much peanut butter that night.

Metroidone

What my first draft for Metroid looked like

Twilek? Pure and simple wordplay experiment. That being turned down for a date. Sad.

Tuck Talk? Phone conversation with my cousin and the dog trying to lick my face off at same time.

And me very own Metroid? I was bored one morning on accidental wake-up at 4 in the morning and so began constructing my very own backstory for Samus Aran, based on nothing more than a Super Smash Bros Melee trophy and random snippets from her Wikipedia page.

I remember when they all came. But how they got there is so boring I hate to say it: I simply happened to be thinking when they came. But I’ve often found that ideas are never perfect when they come to you. They require lots of editing.

Lowing Steer. Had to get rid of the do-wop singers. I have no idea how they got there. If anyone needs one, I’ll give them to you free. They’re just milling around in the alleys of my mind right now looking for a gig.

Twilek. The original premise was a lot racier than I liked. I’m having to keep it to a PG this time around.

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What my current draft looks like now

Tuck Talk. Had to get rid of the !Talk Time! segment. Funny gimmick but nothing to do with the rest of the show. And I have no idea how I will animate a giant purple flapjaw from outer space.

And me beloved Metroid was the worst of the lot! I laugh at the inept first draft, featuring Adam Malcovich as a tiger-man, gigantic turtle-shaped spaceships, Star Wars rip-off star fighters, and Samus being a Melanie Hamilton-esque romantic. Crazy!

But the editing! It is both the fun part and the saddest part. You are forced to come to grips with the fact that your amazing revelation isn’t as perfect as you thought it was. In short, getting an idea is like a getting a really big rock. The rock looks cool at first but you have to cut into it in order to set the sculpture free. It hurts but what comes out is better.

Upcoming List

1. The Bug on Peter Jackson’s Shoe= X

2 . The Stork Brings Idea’s Too?= X

3 . The Gruel of Writing

4. But It’s Real Life!

5. Child Actors

6. *Maybe* It’s Bad.

7. I Have Seen the Future and It’s Just Like Now.

8. How Faithful must An Adaptation Be?

9. I’ve Got Something New Here!

10. I Fell In Love!(Again!)

11. Why *WOULD* I Want To See My Own Movie?

12. Studio Executives Are Your Friends

13. SPEEEEEEEEEEEEEED!!!!

14. Batteries Not Included.

15. Scathing Tell-All-Autobiography

16. For a Clownfish, He’s Not Really That Funny

17. Revisionist History

18. Actors: Someone You Hire Because You Can’t Do It Yourself

19. I’m In 3-D!

20. Beethoven ’s 33rd Symphony.

21. He’s So Hot.

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