Sunday, August 26, 2012

More on Inspiration

Inspiration for a great story can be found just about anywhere.  We have all worked with interesting characters or attended school or church with them and if we try hard enough, a story can be developed with one person out of the various worlds in which we exist.  There is a story everywhere.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Starting a Writing Project

One of the most difficult aspects of writing is deciding how to get started.  Every writer has a different process, but what works for me is to start by listening to music that will put me in the mood of the writing.  For a project that I worked on last year, there was a great deal of travel to France in the story. I surrounded myself with French music and it was a great inspiration for me.

Once I felt  in the mood, I took my legal pad and pen and sat in the park to write my outline.  I love being part of nature when I write.  You have to find the spot that inspires you and being outside inspires me.  Sometimes, I sit at the beach and listen to the waves.  I can't take my laptop to the beach because of the sand and water, but I can always write the old fashioned way.  It's a great way to start.  When I write the outline, I start by included the main aspects of the story. The most important thing is getting the story out. You can add color to it during the rewrite.

Write at the same time every day. It's like exercise; you have to do it with consistency.  Start with thirty minutes of writing per day, then add time as you can.  Consider writing for two hours a day. I write for about five hours a day, but my mind is still working even when I am away from my desk. It stays with you once you are into the story.

Get thee writing!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Be Patient When Writing

I have the story in my head and I want to get it out on paper.  "Just tell the story," I tell myself, but there is virtue in allowing the story to simmer a bit before writing.  Constantly, I am thinking of the next word or phrase in the story, but I have to allow the right words to come to me.  So, sometimes, being patient and taking a break helps the right words to flow freely.

I've also noticed that changing my inspiration helps with the writing.  For example, for a long time, I sat in the same park writing and it worked, but I had to change locations, find something new to look at while I'm day dreaming.  There are times when I take a chair to the beach and I sit, watch the ocean waves and write.  I change the music that's on my iPod or in my car. I might call an old friend who always makes me feel a certain way.  I may go to a baseball field and watch the athletes play even if I don't know any of the players.  I watch them because they love the game.  That love and passion translates into inspiration for me.

So, be patient and allow the words to flow.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

When You Get Burned Out

I've been working on a new project and as excited as I get coming up with great dialogue or creating an  inspired scene, there are times, when I've been working too much and my brain is fried.  That's when I know it's time to take a break.  The thing about taking a break is that if you aren't careful, the break can last for days or weeks and then it's hard to get back to the project.  So, what I do when I am taking a break is continue to be creative, but just not at writing.  It's the perfect time to play a musical instrument, pick up a camera and take photos of the people you love (I did that yesterday), paint, draw, take a walk, listen to really great music that you haven't heard in a while, dance, organize your closet- anything that can keep your mind free from thinking too much while allowing you to continue to be creative.  Some say knitting is a great way to come up with ideas. Today, I am still a little burned out on the writing, so I edited what I have written thus far and I am ready to get back to the writing in the morning.  Inspiration is everywhere.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Preparing to Write

Oftentimes, when people write to me, they want to know what my writing process is because they have an interest in writing as well.  Writing is a solitary job, but it is a process.  Sometimes, like today, I begin with a morning stretch and a bottle of water.  That clears my mind and allows the creativity to flow.  Then, I just sit and think of a while.  I think about what I am going to write for the day. It could be dialogue or creating a scene that will follow with dialogue.  Recently, I read that Ernest Hemingway would pride himself on creating one great sentence.  I read that Lisa See aims for 1000 words per day.  I suppose I just want to finish what I promised I write for the day.  If it's one scene, that's okay as long as the scene is good.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

On Writing

It's so easy to get distracted from writing in the summer.  The weather is perfect, the kids are out of school and wanting to hang out.  I want to be outdoors, too.  So, I take my work outside.  While the kids are turning cartwheels or reading in the park, I find a quiet place in the shade and I write.  Every thirty minutes or so, I stretch my legs, throw the Frisbee, then I go back to writing.  Sometimes I write on a legal pad and other times I use my iPad and email the work to my desktop, but either way, I get the words out and I am inspired by nature and best of all, I get to be with my family.

Monday, July 16, 2012

On Being A Girl Dad-9

My youngest daughter, Azure, is ten years old and she loves Agatha Christie mysteries.  As part of her summer reading, she has read several.  Her favorite is Murder on the Orient Express.  Tonight, as a family, we all watched the BBC version of the story.  I've seen it many times and every time, I forget who actually committed the crime.  When reading, do not forget the old fashioned murder mystery.  They don't make them like that anymore.