26 October 2006
You lookin' at me?
I’m watching lots of History Channel currently, doing world-building research for my new book. It’s all well and good, but when people ask me where I get my ideas, I tell them, "From real life." If you haven’t freaked out some stranger lately (or alternatively flattered them) with your attention, then you aren’t people-watching nearly enough. My gym is a great source for characters. People grunt and moan and sweat, all reminiscent of swordplay and farming, if you’re into archaic fantasy. They wear weird attire--lots of dry-fit and special padding and odd shoes and new-fangled jackets. It’s all fodder for thinking of a sci-fi wardrobe with a purpose. I even watch pets, about the closest things to slaves in my world. When a dog is in trouble, does he cower instantly, like a slave scrambling to kneel to his master? Or, does he ignore the screams to “SIT”, like a politician nodding to a constituent? For many writers, once you’ve got a character taking up space in your head, a story is bound to follow. The stories are out there, following us around. You’ve just got to keep looking.