I am gathering objects for a new story.
They are not all physical. Some can’t be, because their magic does not manifest properly in this dimension. Most won’t be, because I don’t have the stamina to learn blacksmithing or gem cutting or bonsai for a novella.
But I am collecting descriptions of these objects in a notebook, so that I will have them when the story needs them.
I love important objects in stories. I know I’ve written about them before in the blog. I’ve even written a short story about their makers. Physical objects give weight to a story. You can feel a crystal doorknob in your hand, or a warm jacket around your shoulders, or a favorite tee shirt with a collar that rests just right below your neck. I want things that can be touched, because that touch will ground me in the fantastic.
So I’m building a prop shop. Or, rather, I had built a prop shop about two years back, and now I’m restocking it.
Crystal Doorknob with spotty brass fittings.
Robins egg blue suit jacket, double breasted, cut perfectly for a 5’11” heavy set woman in her fifties. Very dashing.
Costume tiara, bent, missing three of its plastic jewels.
Comb disguised as a flick-knife, one chestnut hair caught in its hinge.
Soft gray cotton tee shirt, worn thin from countless washings, patterned with a colony of bats in flight.
Space suit, far future, made for someone very tall. Sanitation department badges on chest and sleeves.
I get lost in scenes sometimes, unable to write down what is important because in your head it all seems very important. But it helps to have something specific to look at. Something that will catch a character’s eye, center the scene, and allow the action to unfold.
And sometimes it helps to get into character, when you’re wearing a soft tee shirt covered in bats, and a silly broken tiara.