The cliche is real. I started writing The Wire Road because of a dream.
That’s half-true. I started writing it because of a dream, and then also a road sign on the interstate.
The dream provided the inspiration for the protagonist and his quest. The dream was in first person, a battle sequence, and it was intense and mystical and violent. It stayed with me well past waking, and then it went into the Dreams folder in Evernote.
I knew there was something there—I knew there was a story, and it felt like it could be a big story. I had to start inventing, and complicating, and embroidering, and all those other verbs I use to talk around the process of generating ideas.
It was here that the recesses of my memory provided the proper framework. On numerous road trips between where we live and where our parents live, we pass a handful of evocative road signs. Some of them are so blankly procedural—so devoid of meaning—that I can’t help but ascribe some elemental mystery to them. “Road 32,” for example.
But in this instance, what my brain surfaced was the sign that just says WIRE ROAD. And I started inventing. I started complicating. I started embroidering.
I started writing, was what I did.
In half a second it wasn’t Wire Road, it was the Wire Road. From that one suggestion of infrastructure the whole world opened up before me. It was all subconscious, but the step from the Wire Road to the Wire proved to be the backbone of the whole project.
A dream and a road sign was the beginning of the beginning. You can’t write an idea. There was a lot of work left ahead of me (and there still is, to be honest). But this is me opening up about the project, and about process, because the more I write about process the more thoughtful it becomes.
And the more I write about The Wire Road, the more excited I get to share it with the world.