NaNo Day #7: Inspiration: The endless wait or the active hunt

7 11 2015

Weather has definitely found its winter setting. Didn’t really get much out of the 40s today. Bit of a chill in the house.

Got a late start on my writing today, since the husbeast and I were busy getting some things squared away in our basement. I have a feeling that winter is going to see us doing a lot of purging.

Inspiration can come in a billion different ways and launch just as many ideas. I’ve had times where inspiration has been as rare as a glass of ice water in the desert and as abundant as those bloody helicopter seed pods that fall from the maple trees in early summer.  Wow, Heidi….misuse of metaphors– Go do 25 push ups!

Anyway. Inspiration is a tricky thing, because when it comes, it’s handy. When you wait for it, you rarely get anything accomplished.

AP_Blog_LondonQuote

Jack knew what was going on. 

Sometimes you got to just sit and write the damn thing. You have an idea. Otherwise why would you start writing? Even a flimsy idea is enough to start. Put some legs under it. Put your character in a setting. Don’t know enough about the location? Go do an image search. Sometimes a random image will jumpstart your creative brain. Stuck in your plot? Figure out what’s happening in a future scene. Figure out where you want it to end. Take a few minutes to get that scene together. Then figure out how to bridge the two.

Not every story is going to be told linearly. Maybe you started your story in the middle. Maybe your character needs a backstory that will not be in the book, but would help you flesh out their motivations.

If you get struck with sudden inspiration, jot that shit down. Keep a small notepad on you at all times, if you can. A phrase can build to a dialogue or a description or a conflict. Build like a spiral around it. Bring in more elements. You’d be surprised how much writing you can glean from just a handful of words.

One of my favorite ways to get a good story idea brewing is to read a bit of history about a place or event. Look carefully for the holes, the places where information is a bit sketchy. Those can turn into footholds to build a story. Look at established facts through a “What If…” filter.

Eventually something will click or gel. Nobody is really “dry” of ideas. And don’t worry if someone has covered similar territory before (there aren’t really any new ideas, to be honest). You can always put your own spin on it. Or maybe bring a fresh perspective. Tell a story from the antagonist’s point of view. Let the servant’s view of events be the main story. There’s lots of ways to be inspired by mundane or everyday things as well. Just take a breath and work the problem.

Inspiration is kinda overrated, mostly because we place WAY too much pressure on ourselves to have that OMG THE BEST IDEA EVER! and don’t work the simple ideas and build them up to something amazing.

Like Jack said up there. Don’t wait for it to come to you– go find something to kickstart your brain and your writing. Sometimes the story that will break you open isn’t the one you set out to write, but the one that sneaks up on you, grabs the steering wheel and takes you somewhere unexpected. (Just remember to take that wheel back if the story starts heading for the bracken.)

Enough pontificating for the evening.
Today was pretty good, writing wise: 2713 words.

Widget of Doom, what say ye?

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