“Writing should feel easy, like a monkey driving a speed boat / Close your eyes… breath… ladle into that barrel of monkeys you call a head and scoop out an image monkey / Now let that image monkey drive a speed boat, and you, you water ski behind it / Stay behind the image and write down what you see on your monkey ski trip. ready… go!” — “Monkeys and Playbills,” [title of show]
Since I finished Neutral Zone and the end of last month, I’ve been casting around for the next writing project. I know I want to write something forThe First Line this year (in fact I like a couple of this year’s sentences a lot). There’s also an idea floating around to write the prequel to Neutral Zone, an idea planted by TFL’s David.
Yesterday during the morning commute though I was attacked by an image monkey. The little critter brought with him an idea that I’ve been working over in my head ever since. This is a particularly agressive and generous monkey too. Not only did he show up unannounced flashing bits and pieces of story idea, he kept at it all day yesterday. I’ve got random bits of character personalities, a couple scenes setups, settings and more. I’m going to start getting this down on paper to see what I can actually make out of it. For now, it’s known as Untitled Dream Project (dreams play a central part of the plot… and that’s all I can say on that for now). Now the fun begins… seeing if it can become a living, breathing story.
Sadly, I’m assaulted by image monkeys constantly. I have nearly a fifty folders on my hard drive, each one devoted to a different idea flash I’ve had. My problem is keeping the monkeys at bay long enough for me to finish a project. Nearly every project I’ve started that eventually got sidelined was because a new monkey (I picture the one in the closet from FAMILY GUY) has leapt up on my shoulder and started yanking at my neck hair and doesn’t stop until I write the idea down. It’s frustrating. But, hey, I’m 160 pages into my new WIP (the second furthest I’ve ever gotten) and I anticipate another 50-75 pages so I just might finish this one. Woo hoo!
Good luck with your new monkey. Make sure he’s armed with wooden stakes and garlic.
I’m not usually attacked like this. I usually have to specifically go looking for ideas. I can’t remember another time where it just descended on me like this. I kinda like it… hopefully it will happen more often.
Good luck with your new WIP… I hope you’re able to finish before another monkey comes for you.