Posts Tagged ‘Imagination’ Archive

Too Many Questions?

Cale said this to me earlier today: Sometimes, you remind me of a small child. You ask too many open ended questions.

To my credit, we were at the pier watching fisherman bring in their catch of the day and watching the seals swim through the water, waiting for fish to accidentally fall overboard. I mean, there are a lot of open-ended questions to ask when you’re watching that.

But don’t you all think that it’s a requirement of a writer to ask all those questions?

I took a nap today and before I fell asleep I thought, What would happen if everybody was connected to someone else and could only die once that other person died. If you got sick or were injured you could survive because you were spiritually attached to someone else? Overpopulation of the world, that’s what would happen. But that’s not the point. The point is that we ask ourselves these weird questions, file them away, and write books answering them later.

And it’s totally okay! No one can say our questions are annoying because frankly, it’s just a consequence of our job.

Job Hazard Zone: too many questions.

My teachers in middle school were right after all, there are no such things as stupid questions, and even if there are, those stupid questions lead to really interesting answers, which lead to even more really interesting questions.

Moral of this post, it’s not possible to ask too many questions. Our curiosity drives our imaginations and surely that’s a good thing.

Because seriously, have you ever wondered if seals accidentally breath in water like people sometimes do when they’re swimming? Or why a Dogfish is called a Dogfish? I know I have!

Illustrations by Chris Van Allsburg

Rupert’s story began some six years ago when I was in high school.  A friend had to write a short story based on a picture.  They couldn’t think of one, so naturally, I helped.  I wrote half a page of ideas and tucked it away in my memory.  Tonight, I decided to find that picture.

I’m positive all of you have seen Chris Van Allsburg’s illustrations.  They’re incredibly…incredible.

Here is the initial inspiration for the plot of Rupert:

Chris Van Allsburg Illustration

"Two weeks passed and it happened again"

This picture isn’t quite as I remembered it, but it is so utterly exciting to have it in front of me again!

My tip for all writers out there: pick one of Chris’s illustrations and write a short story based off it.  Use your imagination!  No, it’s not a rat under the rug, or a mouse.  Instead it’s….well, you choose!