Sitting at the water’s edge with a lemon ginger sour in hand, I wait for my writing partner, Madeline. I watch the people float downriver. My pen and paper lie ready on the table.
She arrives and we get to work, starting with a simple prompt: the word “kayak.” We begin developing characters, crafting a story. We talk through action and dialogue, listening to one another, allowing the ideas each of us have for our respective characters to affect the other character. “Brilliant” personal ideas give way to even better ideas developed together. All we have to do is let go and let the story, like the river around us, take us where we need to go.
In a few hours, we have carved out the first draft of a new short. Later I will type it up, give it a little polish, and present it to Madeline and her director friend. In the moment, however, I simply clutch the frantic scribbles on flimsy pages, stoked about the nifty thing we have created.