Joe: "I hold that only mammals are capable of high level communication."
Dave: "Dinosaurs likely had feathers."
Joe: "I love you too, Dave."
We all know these kinds of exchanges, where as an outsider we are left scratching our heads, lost for the context required to understand why one participant just scored argument points.
Now what if we - as writers - turned the whole thing on its head? What if we started with a random stream of back and forth arguments and only later created a context that explained the scores?
- a number of one-liner statements like: "Dinosaurs had feathers." "In a patriarchy, yes." "John Peters is known to whistle like any bird." "Karl Marx never paid Helene Demuth." "Anyone can throw a rock." "Birds can imitate most any sound." "Everything must die." "The sequential passage of events is a symptom of our minds, not physics." "Tarot started as a game of cards." "Democracy is a poor excuse for lack of leadership." "Dinosaurs might have been good at baseball, you know." "Do you think it is worth controlling our inner pedant?" "Hackers are the modern Robin Hoods." "The Big Bad Wolf is an early criticism of patriarchy."
- vary some of the above as questions along the lines of: "Are you saying XY?" (This is especially fun for the more provocative statements above.)
- a few (partial!) quotes by famous people to pepper the discussion: "If only you sit at the river long enough..." "The opposite of every great truth..." "Everything is relative."
Joe: "If only you sit at the river long enough..."
Dave: "Well, yes, everything must die."
Joe: "No, I meant more like: everything is relative."
Dave: "Anyone can throw a rock."
Joe: ”That is a very naive view, almost like saying: Hackers are the modern Robin Hoods.”
Dave: "Birds can imitate most any sound."
Joe: "Oh, please, God does not roll dice.”
Dave: "But dinosaurs had feathers."
Joe: "Dogma is the last resort of Ignorance."
Dave: "Well, Karl Marx never paid Helene Demuth."
Joe: "I love you too, Dave."
Now the writerly fun would be to create a back-story for this exchange, so that what these two are saying actually made sense. Points are earned for making each reply be an intelligent and thoughtful response to the statement before - as opposed to simple catch-phrase remark.
(I admit that pure randomness in selecting the lines is rather limited. I was tempted to pick and choose lines that would already create some sort of intelligent argument. Given a limited number of lines to choose from, maybe that is a workable approach.)
Update: if you want to have a sheer endless source of meaningful sounding... phrases, you might want to check out the New Age Bullshit Generator. Just hit 'Reionize electrons' button on it's top.
- when do you want something the most?
- first, second and n-th level creativity
- Limitation As A Creative Tool
- Storytelling, Tarot and the Kuleshov Effect
alles Bild, Text und Tonmaterial ist © Martin Spernau, Verwendung und Reproduktion erfordert die Zustimmung des Authors