Writer's Commentary: Wake Up Bomb

On Post: Wake Up Bomb
Date: January 1

This story was birthed from two disparate parts. The first was the title. What exactly would a Wake Up Bomb do? What would it accomplish? What’s the advantage of a bomb that wakes people up? The only thing I could come up with was the idea that people’s dreams had power, which then became literal, and that one group was trying to mine that power and another was trying to interfere with that. So it was already clear there were going to be sci-fi overtones.
Then there was the line about looking good “in metallic sick wraparound blackout tease.” With the sci-fi bend already kicking around my head, I started thinking uniforms and that made me think of Judge Dredd and thus, cops. Or, in the world of the story, “Officers of the Crop.”
So, if I am honest, we had a story with elements of Monsters, Inc, Judge Dredd, and any number of pieces of dystopian future pop culture. If I was going to convert this to a full length tale, I’d have a lot of originality to interject into this or a lot to explain. But as a short piece done quickly, I’m okay with that.
What I didn’t love was creating future slang. It always reads awkward to me: “Shock this,” “Frak that,” and so on. It can eventually became part of the tapestry of the world and thus far less awkward. In a short piece though, it feels really blatant. The alternative, of course, is to put it all in modern language and damn the consequences. I sort of cheated here in that the exposition is mostly modern language while the slang largely only shows in dialogue.
On this front, the nice thing about the song was I could mine it for some of the slang. Thus, you see phrases like “dropped transmission” be utilized as patois. My only regret was that I was unable to work “T-Rex moves” into the proceedings. I hope to someday overcome this disappointment.
My explanation not ring true? Do you have questions that this piece left unanswered? Reach out and touch me at tim.g.stevens@gmail.com or @ungajje on the Twitter. And, as always, spread the word.