Robots Give Me Pause

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.

Day 353