This is how I write:
I go and go and go and don’t look back, don’t overthink, make up or skim over troubling details. I fill the prose with characters and situations that are pregnant with possibility for shenanigans later on, but I don’t know how and don’t stop to wonder. And when I realize a change I’ve made will cause ripples all the way back to the beginning, I jot it down in a separate document so that it’s not pestering my imagination and then I keep moving. I don’t argue with characters when they want to run off in other directions; I let them go a bit, maybe we tussle back and forth but I get veto power, which is to say: the story is Queen, and sometimes the people inside it suffer the consequences.
Jorge Luis Borges, that most enigmatic of blind Argentine librarian poets, once dreamt of a man who kept his right hand concealed within his jacket (or dreamt with, since he was presumably dreaming in Spanish). He asks the man how he’s been and the man replies, Not well, and then reveals that his hand is in fact a bird’s claw. Borges (of course) marvels not at the novelty of a man becoming a bird, but at the literary device implicit within the structure of the dream: “Without knowing it, I had prepared the invention.” The man is turning into a bird, but the seed of that transformation, the first clue to the mystery, the foreshadow, happens in the subtlety of his concealed hand. The shift is gradual: a narrative.
Daniel José Older’s first book, Salsa Nocturna was just released from Crossed Genres Publications. Daniel is a writer, composer and paramedic living in Brooklyn, New York. He has facilitated workshops on music and anti-oppression organizing at public schools, religious houses, universities, and prisons. His soul band Ghost Star performs original multimedia theater productions about New York history around the city.
His short stories have appeared in Strange Horizons, Flash Fiction, Crossed Genres, The Innsmouth Free Press, and the anthology Subversion: Science Fiction & Fantasy tales of challenging the norm. He has been a featured reader at The New York Review of Science Fiction and Sheree Renée Thomas Black Pot Mojo Reading Series. Daniel is currently working towards his MFA in Creative Writing at Antioch University, Los Angeles.
You can read his ridiculous and true ambulance adventures, hear his music and find out more about his fiction at www.ghoststar.net