Friday, 23 November 2012

Creativity and Ninjas

I've not been much in the mood to create anything lately, which has included blog posts. We will blame it on the grumpy monkey on my back. He's a miserable git, and tells me to sit and watch TV rather than do anything because, you know, what's the point? Despite him I have been getting some ideas and just had one today that is either amazing, or absolutely awful. But I like it, so will probably pursue it. Even a rubbish idea can turn out great once you get a bit of depth to the story. And to share my crazy process, here's how this idea came about.

Earlier today a friend posted on his Facebook time line a news story about "Japan's ninjas heading for extinction". This made me sad, as I love ninjas (the ones in the movies anyway) and it seems a shame that a whole way of life is going to disappear. It also features possibly my favourite quote of the week: "you cannot make a living being a ninja." If even a ninja can't make a living, how the hell are the rest of us meant to survive! But I digress... this news story fired off something in my brain. And these were the questions I was left with:

  • What if there was in fact one, single last ninja in Japan?
  • What if he kept it secret, so everyone thinks ninjas are long extinct?
  • What if he was hired to investigate a corporation in the not too distant future, by a mysterious benefactor?
  • What if that corporation is up to some "big bad" that threatens all of humanity?

I had some other ideas too, to make it all a bit more personal and character driven. This is a pretty good example of how the creative process works for me: I see something (news story, people in the street, cat up a tree) and little story sprites start turning the great wheels in my head. If I don't write it down I forget, so no matter where or when I have to get it down in writing. In this case I emailed myself, so I can think on it later.

And I ended my email (to myself) with this:

"Ninjas are amazing."

Yes. Yes they are. Thank you ninjas for my creative moment.

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