The truth is stories have not changed a bit in centuries. The tools to tell stories have. I mean really, ten years ago how many of us envisioned Giphys?
We have computers, the internet, pictures, video, film, radio, books, plays and now virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).
As I fight my way into the new world- working on a big VR project- trying to crack the challenge that is 360 video, I’m looking to all sources of inspiration. There is so much that has to get better in VR, starting with pre-production tools. How to even think about a narrative experience that is in great part driven by user choices, how to borrow time honored traditions of blocking originally from stage, and truly understanding what the experience of presence means. Essentially, the idea of helping the user feel like they are there.
I’m looking back to look forward, one of my favorite activities. Why reinvent the world every time on everything? Willa Cather who wrote my all time favorite book, “My Antonia,” had this to say about stories, “There are only two or three human stories, and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they had never happened.”
I’m re-reading, two profoundly great books on writing fiction specifically, yet are universal in application. See them below, along with one of my favorite quotes from each.
- Stephen King | On Writing, A Memoir of the Craft
“[G}ood ideas seem to come quite literally from nowhere, sailing at you right out of the empty sky: two previously unrelated ideas come together and make something new under the sun. Your job isn’t to find these ideas but to recognize them when they show up.“–Stephen King
2. This Year You Write Your Novel by Walter Mosely
“The most important thing I’ve found about writing is that is is primarily an unconscious activity. What do I mean by this? I mean that a novel is larger than your head (or conscious mind). The connections, moods, metaphors, and experiences that you will call up while writing will come from a place deep inside you.”--Walter Mosely
Both are short books especially respective to each writers usual work. Some of King’s books might weigh more than a world encyclopedia, while this one comes in at a paltry 291 pages. Moselys’ is much shorter, coming in at 100 pages of text. I would advise reading in that order. They are wonderful reads.
Thanks Willa, Stephen and Walter. Your words sure are helping this week. Check them out and wish me luck!