The more I use the techniques developed in Story Alchemy for generating story, the more I understand how shallow our insight is into our own creativity. We should realize that the Unconscious contains a vast storehouse of knowledge concerning the subject matter because it comes from a separate reality. Once you realize that the material comes from within a place of total existence, your vision of the scope of your story changes.
I keep going back, as I did in Story Alchemy from time to time, to the old movie Forbidden Planet. Cyril Hume wrote the screenplay, probably with the help of the original story creator Adam Adler. What got me about the movie the first time I saw it back in 1956 was how the story kept providing revelations about the ancient Krell and the implications of the extinct civilization’s vast knowledge. Just when you thought you had learned everything important about the Krell, revelations would go to a new level. We as viewers kept getting more and more information about their civilization and how it applied to the story as it progressed and eventually led to the resolution of the conflict. It was that sense of discovery that ran in parallel with the progression of the central conflict (plot) that provided that inevitable sense of forward motion to hold our attention.
I had an experience last night that illustrates that illustrates what I’m getting at. I was in bed and had just finished reading a few pages of The Lord of the Rings on my iPhone. I put my it down on my Bluetooth keyboard within its leather cover, turned off the light and thought I was going to sleep. But then I heard a thump. I turned on the light and saw that my iPhone had slipped off the cover onto my nightstand. Curiously, it seemed to be calling me. Yes, I realize that seems silly, but still, it’s what came to mind. I have learned to take little coincidences as an omen of writing possibilities. I grabbed my iPhone, opened it to the Pages app, set it aside and started typing.
When I started writing this blog post, I thought I would provide the raw text of the creative session for Robot Dawn, my novel in progress, which went on for about three hours during which time I wrote 1,800 words. But after reading through it, I have decided that it would give away too much of the story. So, you’ll have to wait until it’s published. Sorry, but that’s just the way it goes. You’ll have to trust me when I say that this morning when I inserted it into the novel and started editing it, I was surprise and how much I had accomplished and how usable it all was. Yet, I had no inkling that I was ready for a major creative session before the iPhone slipped off the keyboard cover onto the nightstand with a clunk.
Not every story needs the depth I’m achieving with my hypnagogia sessions. But frequently the implications of events within the story provide a sense of meaning that holds the story together and makes for a more satisfying reading experience. The deeper I get into Robot Dawn, the more I realize how meaningful the story is, and the more it seems imperative that I flesh it out to provide the reader with something special and worthy of the time spent.