How do you come up with this stuff?! Part 3

The Troth

Now, keep in mind, that what is going on here is largely unconscious. I’m not deliberating with myself like I am presenting here. I’m proceeding largely by feel — intuition.

Indeed, I think that linear, deliberate, conscious thought is almost useless to writing a story. Its helpful a bit in evaluating a story, but not in making one. And I say that as a friend of logic and linear thinking.

So there I was, I had the story situated. Now I needed some characters. I felt I needed two. Because the very notion of advertising real estate in space is absurd, I needed a funny man to champion the notion. So I made a nutty Realtor. But because the twists I felt the story would go through would be best served by a kind of contrast with the out-look of a more vanilla, rational, conventional sort of person — I needed a straight-man. So I made one of those.

Then I needed a plot. Now, because the story literally begs for a real alien to show up I knew that that had to happen — but it couldn’t be the punch of the story — or as the French call it the “denouement.” It was too obvious. There had to be a subtle twist somewhere that cast the whole crazy story in another light.

It took me a couple of days to come up with that. It came to me at the dinner table with my family. I was explaining the story to them and then it hit me. I knew the twist I needed and I had the story.

After I had the end in mind the story just flowed. Lots of subtle twists and turns and amusing asides just came to me as I went along — almost on their own, you could say. I would.


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