Thursday, May 26, 2011

Writing the Challenge of Dreams and GoBots

Who remembers the GoBots? That show that was always in the shadow of the Tranformers? To think if it had aired only a few weeks earlier history would have been completely different. (Or not.)

I don’t have a lot of memories of the series, beyond the original “Challenge of the GoBots” mini-series, but it was fun. What I do remember is what resulted from watching it.

It was probably a few years after GoBot’s went off the air, though Transformers was still going strong, that I had a dream.

I’m not one to make a big deal out of my dreams, write them down or tell people about them, but from time to time a dream will be memorable enough that I eventually do something with elements of it.

In this dream the GoBot’s existed and somehow I was the human child of two of them. Strange, I know, but that was what I remember from the dream.

Sometime after that, weeks, months later, I began to write a story based on that.

Here’s rough synopsis of that story I wrote in Junior High:

Two giant alien races are at war and using Earth to fight their battles. As the story opens; the heroic ‘good’ aliens discover two elements of the villainous ‘bad’ aliens current plot. The first part is a massive machine that has ‘transmutative’ abilities that is able to transform one object or being into another. But the heroes have arrived to late, as one of the ‘bad guys’ has turned herself into a human so that she get close to a scientist who has invented a weapon that could either end the alien war or destroy the earth.

All they know is the scientist is on a cruise ship, and clues point that the villain is headed to board the ship. So the first officer of the good aliens becomes a human as well. He makes his way onto the cruise ship as one of the passengers. Then finds out who the scientist is he’s looking for and arranges to sit at the man’s table for meals. He also meets an extremely beautiful woman also at the table. They are polite but don’t get along, so the scientist’s wife makes it her missing to get the young couple together. Which by the end of the cruise does happen and they fall in love.

You guess it, the woman is the evil alien. Now neither can return to their original form, but convince the scientist to never build his weapon.

Not very good, I know, but what can you do I was a kid.

What’s important about this story is that it was truly the very first story I ever wrote that had a true beginning, middle, and end. I like to believe that I improved my writing abilities a little bit with each story I wrote from than on.

Even though it was very derivative of at least three shows I had been watching, it still was mine and it got me started.

And the fact that it originated from a strange dream I had longer before is also a good lesson for all writers.

Don’t dwell on everything that happens in your dreams, but recognize that your subconscious is sorting through millions of thoughts and ideas that go through your head. So when you remember something interesting from a dream, file it away because you might just well use it in that animated TV script you’re writing, or that novel, or feature film.

Your mind is a vast treasure trove of ideas, and sometimes they have to yell at you through dreams that they want to be told as stories.

Of course I’ve never been able to come up with a story from the dream I had when I was seven, where my grandmother turns into a giant spider with vampire teeth.

Kevin Paul Shaw Broden

Four Names of Professional Creativity

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