Clear SPN throughlines aside, haha, the article is about "method writing," and what that's like. It's not a new topic--method acting is a thing, of course, and what is gonzo journalism if not method--but it was interesting to see how that worked in practice, especially in the author's more suburbanized, contemporary world.
Have any of you done things specifically because you needed it for a scene? Or because you were planning to write it?
I don't think I have, really. I might catalogue experiences differently, if they seem like they might be useful to writing later. And I draw very very heavily on my life experiences, be they small observations or cathartic effluences--though in translation from life to fiction, they don't tend to resemble the former all that much. Which is good, because I'm not writing me, first of all, and that translation is all of the fun of it!
If I wanted to do a method experiment, I'm not even sure what I'd do. I think extrapolating creatively will probably get you to wherever you want to go, garnished with a little research or Google or whatever else helps ground your imagination in some smattering of ~authenticity. Plus I'm naturally a person of extremes, as in I like to immediately assess the upper and lower bounds of a thing. This works well with SPN because basically
(any given experience)*(worst case scenario) = Winchesters
tends to be pretty accurate. XD
Anyway, last night I didn't burn any corpses and I didn't go to Mexico, but I did take a bath which made me think about Sam and Dean on a beach in Mexico:
I took a bath last night--like, bath bath, not a shower. Which I'm pretty sure I haven't done since I was like five years old? Back when Mr. Bubbles was a thing. Also, it was the 90s so in addition to being able to turn your butter and ketchup strange colors, there were also bath tablets that could turn your water different hues, too. But apart from banya, I haven't taken a bath since.
I mean--the only thing people in fiction have ever done in bathtubs is drown or bleed, or drown their children. Except once in The Business of Fancydancing a guy filmed a nude home video of his boyfriend instead, and no one died. I don't have a boyfriend, or kids, so mostly I just thought about the first two the whole time.
And sure, could I have chosen mood music that wasn't Korn? Well, I suppose.
But I used an apple-scented sea salt scrub my mother gave me a few years ago! That's bath-spa-y, right?
I dunno, it was kinda nice, mostly boring, definitely wasteful (I used ALL the available hot water), and sort of felt like it was a UTI waiting to happen. And now I just feel sticky, and I can't tell if it's because of the sea salt (because sometimes after being in the ocean you also feel a bit sticky), the apple (was I supposed to rinse? but I used all the hot water for the tub...), or the lotion I put on afterwards. So I'm just like, man, if I wanted to feel THIS moist(urized) all I'd have to do is wait 'til July; then it'll be plenty humid enough to feel just like this.
This is all to say (aside from the fact that I'm never doing that again) that after my bath I was thinking about how it would be if Sam and Dean really did hit up some Mexican beach, like Dean suggested in 10x18.
There's great potential for this to go smashingly, of course. People love those kinds of beaches--with the white sand and the lifeguards and the panoply of other people's umbrellas and colorful sand toys. When we were in Hawai'i for my grandfather's interment, my grandmother called them "commercial beaches." I'm pretty sure you can't actually have a for-real for-profit beach (can you??), but the name stuck with me. The commercial beaches were in contrast to "the beach," which for her had rough black sand instead of the fine white kind, and a sharp craggy shoreline, where sometimes you could see sea turtles swimming by the rocks.
I certainly don't mean to hold one up over the other--I love all beaches, and the huge clear waves you could play in at the commercial beach were amazing--but for all I love them both, there's probably plenty of people who don't like either. I know a fair number of people who aren't interested in seeing the sea, and weren't impressed by beaches when they went.
I can't help but feel like the whole experience might be a little underwhelming for Sam and Dean, if they did go. XP I mean, Dean being case in point, if you're not going to take off your clothes in a sweat lodge you're probably not going to take them off at the beach, either. And I don't think Sam would like the feeling of sand between his toes; it'd be rough and too hot up high, and then (refreshingly?) wet as he approached the tideline. But it'd squish and feel like cool fingers grabbing at his feet, curling bonily over him.
So they'd both kind of sit there, and they'd get their cervezas, and there would indeed be local wildlife. There'd be poorly labeled rip currents and after Day 1 or 2 it'd be a willful effort not to wish it wasn't some sort of sea monster that carried that college kid away. How do you lose someone, if not to a monster?
What about the Grand Canyon? Dean would ask, after they'd spent some time not voicing their non-enjoyment, and not voicing their awareness of each other's non-enjoyment.
That's just more sand, Sam replies.
So maybe they should just go home. But hey, the point is, they can go home.
Maybe. Maybe that's the point. They've never had to try that, either.
Jody's headed south, says Sam, squinting at the dark screen of his phone under full Mexican sun.
Great. She due for some R&R, too? Dean asks.
Roadtrip with Alex, says Sam. His phone dings again. They took--two cars?
Jody got Alex a car?
No, Alex hot-wired one. Hence the, uh--"roadtrip."
So, wanna meet 'em in Vegas?
Vegas? NEVER again, Sam objects immediately. Then: How do you know they'll be there?
Oh, come on. You're sixteen, driving free-range around the southwest? What's the one place you definitely don't skip?
Alex isn't you, Dean.
Dean coughs. Not all of us think Flagstaff is cool. Trust me, she'll be in Vegas.
And nothing really stays in Vegas, Sam reminds him, some mix of cautionary and jocular that sounds old and for Sam, feels new.
So we'd better go quick then, Dean replies.