Leigh: When you first looked at the picture, what was your initial reaction?
KT: Honestly? HOLY SHIT – What am I going to write? Seriously, for weeks I had no clue and then I noticed the statue had whites in his eyes, like a real person. And then the rest poured out.
Becca: I was creeped out. Seriously, it was like one of those situations where you stare at the picture – AND THE PICTURE STARES BACK. The dissonance between the freaky-eyed statue and all the pretty garden flowers just threw me.
Leigh: *laughs* I sorta did want to creep you out with the juxtaposition. I’m also a sucker for Rodin, the sculptor who did that piece. There’s a Rodin museum here in Philly that’s pretty awesome as well, I have SEVERAL plot bunnies from his works. They’re incredibly detailed, and some are actually FAR creepier than that one!
So where did you start in building your story?
KT:His eyes. Whites of the eyes. Person trapped and looking out at everything. Only able to come alive when the shadows fall and night comes so they can blend with the shadows. And voila – story.
Becca: Peter Pan. Honestly, my first thought after I really started looking at the picture was of Peter Pan and his lost shadow running around the Darling house. But the statue wasn’t charming, so when I started to spin out the idea, it went decidedly un-charming places.
Leigh: *laughs* Oh that makes sense. I thought you’d been watching too much Doctor Who! (as if there IS such a thing as too much!) 😛 I’d thought it looked like he was reaching for something he was afraid would get away, and I had this idea of a guy falling for a girl who was out of the frame of the picture, and being frozen like that as he reached for her. The rest came from there.
What problems did you encounter?
KT: HOLY CRAP – what do I write? That was pretty much my problem. And seeing if I could get the story to come full circle. I was very tired when writing it.
Becca: It was hard for me to find a voice for the story. I liked the idea, I liked the possibilities, but there was no voice that jumped out like my first one, so it was tough to spin out the words. Eventually, I just hit the deadline and had to put up what I had, but I think I could’ve done better with it.
Leigh: Aww! Yeah, June was a busy month for all three of us, so we maybe didn’t have as much time to focus on this.
I had trouble figuring out tenses in this one. I initially was going to have him telling it from the garden in retrospect, but I was working on it at work and at home without sending the file back and forth. When I went to piece it together, I realized parts were in different tenses, and had to really poke and pull until I got something I was reasonably happy with.
Any other thoughts?
KT: I had fun once I got going, but I thought this was going to be really difficult. Once I got the inspiration it was much easier to write, even fun! I love doing these prompts.
Becca: It’s funny – I had such a strong reaction to this photo, but it didn’t translate into an easy story project AT ALL. I thought that emotion would help me hit the page hard, but it didn’t, which was unusual. It wasn’t easy to put into words just what the creepy statue evoked in my head.
Leigh: I love the way Kt and my stories sorta were opposites, and then Becca, you went into totally different territory with yours. Yours sounds like a whole novel waiting to happen! And I’m loving it too, it’s definitely a challenge sometimes, but that’s part of the fun for me.
Stay tuned. Next month’s coming quickly!