I think of January as a time of new beginnings and when I start a new project I like to brainstorm as many ideas as I can. Some of the things I try are: mind mapping, doodling, running what if scenarios, listing random ideas, reading the newspaper, researching a place or thing, and playing with plotting generators.
My goal is to bring together enough random ideas that go together, or don’t, and break them down to see how they may fit.
If I’m are unhappy with the results I’ll change location to a: coffee shop, play ground, riverbank, bench on a busy street, pub or library. It doesn’t really matter.
The trick is to breakthrough the usual barriers and find a new place where fresh ideas ignite the creator in me. I’ll list several inciting incidents, possible twists, and unexpected/unavoidable outcomes.
Once the links are made, I aim at an audience. Knowing who you are writing for makes it easier for the publisher/agent to sell your project.
Brainstorming doesn’t stop when my writing begins. It continues throughout the whole process. If I’m hit by a new idea as I work, I take a look. No doubt something inspired me.
I’m not saying go off track, but be aware. Our brains are wonderful things and whether we are aware or not they will take us where we need to go.
What do you do to bring ideas to your writing?
Rejection is subjective.
Rejection is part of the craft of writing.
I’ve lost two contests and I’m going for my third.
My question is, how do I submit as if I haven’t been rejected? How do I write my best work without being afraid I’ll fail again?
The answer for me was going back to the beginning. To refresh my memory of why I am here and why I am doing such a silly thing like submitting at all.
The first book I read was Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft.
Here’s a quote:
“The object of fiction isn’t grammatical correctness but to make the reader welcome and then tell a story … to make him/her forget, whenever possible, that he/she is reading a story at all. The single-sentence paragraph more closely resembles talk than writing, and that’s good. Writing is seduction. Good talk is part of seduction. If not so, why do so many couples who start the evening at dinner wind up in bed?”
I’ve not thought of myself as a seductress for a while now. But I’ve heard it’s like riding a bike. This round I think I’ll use my purple pen to polish my entry.
Wish me luck. I hope you beta readers are ready. I’m days away from sending it out.
Readers: What do you do when you need to find your writing magic?
For the previous sections 1, 2, & 3 please click the numbers.
It’s funny how letting your mind roam can create so wacky or scary writing ideas. Sometimes the first instinct is to back away and drop it. The story is traveling into the realm of another genre, or way beyond your comfort zone or where it may make you blush and you’d never want anyone to know you wrote it never mind thought it.
Well, here’s some news you might already know. No one will know what you’ve written unless you show them. So I say go for it and let it loose. It might be the best writing you ever do and no one wants to miss that.
Think of these great words:
“Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one is listening. Love like you’ve never been hurt. And live like it’s heaven on Earth.”
– Mark Twain
I’d also like to add:
“Write as if no one will read it.”
Holding back or stopping because it isn’t what you normally write is the biggest mistake a creative person can make. Sure we may be afraid of where it might go. Writing is about self discovering. It’s about digging out pieces of gold and dazzling yourself later when you read your words and are marveled that they are not just insightful, beautiful, wondrous, but they are your words.
So as you brainstorm, remember you are searching for a great story. And it’s inside you. Don’t let yourself down. Don’t give yourself a reason to stop before typing. Because it’s in you. The amazing thing is the next one is too.
Any inspiring words you’d like to share? I think today we’d all love to read them. 🙂
I have done NaNo for almost (not done yet) four years. Every year I have a plan, but I also have my doubts about making it. What if my story prompts don’t prompt? Or my idea hits a wall, peters out, and…
Well, there is no and; I just face failure.
I thought I’d write this post as much for me as the anyone.
Imagination is endless. It is the one thing that the human race has used consistently to further themselves. We are constantly growing, learning, and testing the things around us. It is the one thing that makes the human race amazing.
We are curious and that curiosity leads to discovery. I don’t mean what’s on the other side of the universe, but what is inside our minds, our thoughts. Stories. Books. Plays. Movies. Music. Pretending. All these things come from the human mind. It holds me, cradles me, fills me with wonder.
You and I are a part of this. That’s why we had the brilliant idea that we would write 50k in 30 days. Before we began we felt it and knew that our imaginations are forever filling with amazing thoughts, wild thoughts, thoughts that must be written down and preserved. We knew it then and if we relax and breathe, we’ll be able to tap into it again.
Close your eyes.
Do you see it?
A little light in the darkness.
As you get closer you can see movement.
What are they doing?
What is happening?
Okay—go write something fabulous.