Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Fiction Project: Superimposing Concepts

I've been toying with this superimposing of concepts approach as a method to devise progressions (and particularly suprising ones) in stories.

In Pulp Fiction there is a scene where John Travolta and Samuel L Jackson have shot some guys for stealing their boss's gold. Hidden away behind a door is a member of the gang holding a gun. He bursts out from behind the door and fires every bullet at Travolta and Jackson. . . but every shot misses. There was some controversy suggesting that Tarantino had stolen this idea from someone else. But how can ideas like this be created? Superimposing concepts is one possibility.

So the product of the action is that every bullet is fired but every bullet misses. If I am creating a story then I can visualise the scene progressing. At the moment the gun is about to be fired I can visualise an object in the scene (in this case the gun) and then step up to concept level:

His gun = gun

I can then list every gun I can think of and kind of 'superimpose' one gun from the list over the gun in the scene: at the moment his gun is fired it still looks the same, but functions as the gun I chose from the listed guns. So perhaps a spud gun 'superimposed' over his gun would produce the idea of every bullet missing. The final product (idea) - the firing of the gun having no effect - is the most important point.

At the concept level (in the above example: gun) a potentially exhaustive list can be made using pre-listing with Google images.

No comments: