Blank Worlds

Well, kid, you’re back. Naw, it’s fine. If you’re willin’ to pay. Here, let me put down my cigarette and show off the wares.

They sure are something, ain’t they? All those little worlds, blank and just waitin’ for someone to take them home.

Sure, sure, it’ll take lots of time. But every world’s a little different. Maybe a few hours to rough out something nice and small. Or maybe decades. Depends on the size of the idea you want to plant on this nice new little earth I sell you.

What the hey, kid? You got a lot o’ chutzpah, comin’ in here, thinkin’ you can buy an new earth and just watch it!

What? No, I don’t sell ideas. What does this shop look like? You see a lot o’ muses hanging around? Listen, I don’t want nothin’ to do with muses! All they do is lure men to their deaths!

No, I’m not thinkin’ of sirens. Those things just tell you to get outta the way o’ the cops.

No, muses are dangerous! They steal your life to give you ideas. Not worth it, kid. No, all the best ideas are the ones you come up with yourself. No outside force just plantin’ them willy-nilly.

Look, every story is a new world to explore. That’s what I sell here: Blank worlds. And I’ll tell you how to take care o’ them. Like last time. I told you that you needed time. You ain’t willin’ to put in the time, I ain’t willin’ to give you a blank world. But every world I hand out, well, it’s blank, see? You need an idea to plant on it.

How should I know where you get an idea? Inspiration’s all over the place. Maybe it’s a dream you had. Maybe it’s just a fancy what-if. Maybe you got some idea about how tech will evolve or what if a dragon lived in the subway. Maybe a picture triggers a wonderin’ or a wanderin’ or some sort o’ somethin’. But I’ll tell you this: If you’re a writer, if you’re someone who wants to tell a story, you gotta get an idea. Because blank worlds don’t come pre-disposed with ideas.

And don’t tell me you need to wait around for inspiration. Just start creatin’. You have no idea what’ll come out. Write somethin’ down. It might be crap. Lookin’ at you, it probably will be. But start. Once there’s crap, you can always edit it later. Find the diamond in the crap. And hold it tight.

Look, mixin’ metaphors is what I excel at.

Anyway, just start. Write write write. That’s how you create. And you’ll find ideas as you go. Maybe it’s a character that you like. Maybe he’s got a certain voice. Maybe it’s a plot. Maybe it’s a concept. But just grab it and go, kid!

True, once you plant an idea, it’ll probably take off some way you never expected. Characters will talk back to you. Someone once told me that we don’t do what our Writer wanted us to do, and look at the mess we got now. If it’s true at all, why would we expect our creations to listen to us, all nice and tidy?

You plant that idea, and you might end up growing a world that you never expected. Or maybe it’ll listen nice. Or most likely you’ll be surprised along the way, but it still listens to you at least a little.

Not the way you’re listening to me.

Your eyes are wandering, kid.

What, you got an idea now? You got something just perfect for a blank world?

Very funny. A world with no shopkeepers would be the most boring place. Hey, we bring you the best stuff, and you just shake your head and complain. We teach you how to take care of your world, and there it goes, in one ear and out the back end. Look at all that crap, kid.

Well, kid, tell you what. You gonna pay with time? Let’s see what your little world does. Here. Plant that idea of yours. Let’s see what happens. Let’s hope you can find the idea through the crap.

Published by Jon

Jon lives in Kentucky with his wife and an insanity of children. (A group of children is called an insanity. Trust me.)

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