Going in the File
Do you have a file? You know the one. It’s on the corner of your desk. Maybe you use Evernote. Maybe it’s something on your phone – I just started using Google Keep and that is working nicely.
It’s the place you keep the “oooooh” and the “hmmmm” and the “maybe later.” Something comes across your world view and you know in an instant – that’s going in a play. I don’t know when or where or how or why. But someday it’s going to be used and you don’t want to lose it.
This is my most recent “oooooh”
It’s a Consumerist post about 15 product trademarks that have become victims (okay) of Genericization. I had to get my dictionary out for that word and then realized – Generic!. These are products that either never applied for trademark, abandoned their trademark or had their trademarks canceled in court.
And while this list of 15 is interesting – did you know that cellophane used to be a product and not just a type of plastic wrap? Or how about Thermos or escalator? – it’s the products that aren’t yet out of trademark that are even more interesting. Mostly because it includes products you sure were already “victims” of genericization:
- bubble wrap
- Putt Putt Golf
The list goes on. It’s things like this that make me go hmmmmmm. What if I had a character who was obsessed with trademarks? Or wanted to make their own crock-pot and got sued for some reason? Or disagreed with another character whether or not you could use bubble wrap in a story? Or… something. I don’t have an idea yet and I don’t have a character in mind. But I certainly don’t want to lose a detail like this. This is the kind of story or fact or, well, detail that makes a character unique, specific and gives them drive.
And isn’t that what we all want for our characters? To have them be like no one else?