Zettelkasten and Morgue Files for fiction
A "morgue file" is a collection of notes, articles, and files kept by investigators or journalists for possible future use. Today, I have developed a morgue file that in my zettelkasten that collects items that I think might provide fodder for my fiction writing.
I write speculative fiction and so I track newspaper articles or reports that I think might serve as the germ of a story. Then, as part of my writing process, I'll make a new (structure) note and include links to articles or pieces that might inspire pieces of my story (whether character, setting, or plot).
For example, I recently learned about Point Nemo, a "spacecraft cemetery" in the Pacific Ocean that is a "pole of inaccessibility," the location farthest from any land. This was intriguing enough, so I did some more cursory reading and learned (among other things) that it is also a remarkably lifeless part of the ocean because it is so far from land. Also, in spite of not being officially identified as the "pole of inaccessibility" until 1992, Point Nemo is near where H.P. Lovecraft placed R'lyeh, the lost city where Cthulhu is imprisoned!
At any rate, I now have a cluster of notes about Point Nemo that is forming the gensis of a story about scavengers trying to salvage material in this remote location. The real-life details are helping me flesh out the skeleton of a plot and raising more questions for me to explore. (For example, I know next to nothing about what might be involved in this salvage operation, so I now have some more reading to do!)
I thought I'd share in case others are interested in using their zettelkasten to generate ideas for fiction, and to learn from others who might implement a similar practice. Do you have any other tips or advice? Pitfalls to avoid?
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