Writing is like the monkeys in the silo

I was minding my own business yesterday, doing the dishes and thinking about something on the news, when bam, an idea hit me.

I was playing the “what if” game: “What’s his story? Why did that really happen? What if it happened this way?”

That idea is gone, sadly… I didn’t write it down… but it sparked the idea for this post.

When I was a kid, I’d ask my mom or dad while we were driving: “tell me about that silo out there” or “tell me about that chimney” (around here, you can often find chimneys sort of hanging around with no house). “Tell me why this road is named Hubbel… why this is named Euler.”

(there’s another story there, too…)

And my mom would tell me about the monkeys in the silo, or my dad would tell me about Hub Bill, who wanted the world to revolve around him, or the You Learns (our road is pronounced you-ler, not like the scientist, oddly).

Writing is like that. You look at a thing. You ask a question. And the question leads to a story.

Tell me about that chimney, mom. Tell me about Reed Road, Daddy.

Tell me about that guy walking down the street. He’s carrying bags on a ski pole like a modern yoke. What’s his story?

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2 thoughts on “Writing is like the monkeys in the silo

  1. That sounds a lot like how I tend to go about gamewriting, ideally bouncing questions around with someone else. Sadly this is not compatable with everyone’s style. I haven’t done it as car entertainment before, but that’s an interesting notion …

  2. After poking at my superhero school characters for over a year I’ve finally figured out what the theme is, when I realized each of the three characters I’ve really looked at so far are all pretty much trying to answer the same question. Which now has me wanting to poke at it even more and figure out what else is going on.

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