Going to give myself another pass of narrative tonight.
I keep a record of every writing idea I’ve had or stolen in Evernote. This past week I organized the straggly bits it and discovered I am frequently drawn to stealing photos and art of mech. Robotic exoskeletons, pure robots, scifi weaponry and vehicles, and armored soldiers. I probably never write about such things though—once (I checked).
Each time I see these martial themes in print I respond as most men might, “That’s bad ass.” As I consider writing though, I struggle to find ideas that do more than just shoot shit up. I’m all for explosions and improbably aerial vehicles–the starker and more angled the line the better—but I how do you wrap a storyline around pyrotechnics and gunships? My instinct tells me the Millennium Falcon suffers serious loss of cool points in an all text rendition.
Not that it couldn’t be done. I think you’d need to treat the mech as a character of sorts or maybe like a pet. Give it coincidental dialogue or make it an aspect of a character’s personality the same way you might a horse or dog. You’d need a memorable possibly poetic name. A name that could stand in for the whole character when needed.
You risk humanizing a piece of metal, of giving a bolt more significance than a nail and both more significance than they deserve.
Also, I don’t know how well I’d do at a military storyline implied by many of these types of inspiration. I often career off opposite to the initial reaction I have about such things. How can I make this weapon an instrument of peace? How can I make this robot a gardener? How can I make this soldier a life bringer?
I wish I didn’t do that. Writing anything is hard enough without me making it harder.