Thursday, December 18, 2008


There's a thing I say, which I might have got from someone else but I don't recall: "Ideas are the cheapest things in the universe". People have ideas all the time, 6 billion people having ideas every moment of the day (dreams are just ideas too).

Ideas also weigh nothing: Get a memory stick, weigh it, put every work of fiction, every work science, every work of art on to that memory stick and weigh it again: It's the same weight. Yet ideas change our world all the time, sometimes quite radically. They are simultaneously the most powerful things in the universe. (I could get very philosophical at this point and suggest that if that's the case then there must be something more to life than just "physics" - but that's not the point of this blog.)

So. Yesterday evening I had an idea about a TV series. It's new but also leverages existing productions and audience (that's management-speak for "spin-off"). It's also based in America. I'm not a student of US history (which would be required), but I know someone who is.

Then I started thinking about the argument that writers often have which is "which comes first plot or character?" (closely allied to the "which is more important plot or character?" which I gave my opinion on here, but can be summed up as: "Who cares? As long as you have a great story.").

For me it seems to be neither, it's always setting that comes first. I think of settings that can have interesting characters and lots of plot. So where do my settings ideas come from? Anywhere, random thoughts, whatever. Last night I mis-heard what a couple of friends were talking about and a whole string of thoughts went through my head like an express train. And I ended up with an idea. Then this morning, as I was getting up, I refined it, added the "spin-off" factor and realised I suddenly had a very saleable product.

I have absolutely no idea how to proceed with it, but that's what connections are for. E-mails to follow.

As for the week's resolutions: I finished the wine pages yesterday, have almost finished the coding I needed to do on my pet project, but haven't touched "Air" yet.

Off to Birmingham later today for a weekend with friends. Not sure whether I'll get time for any writing but my office will be going with me, though it'll probably be back to "Rubbish Internet" (tm).

What's on the turntable? "Monday Morning" by Pulp from "Different Class"

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