Wednesday, June 16

How I Write: Week One – Idea Creation

How-I-Write2-bannerThis week we’re talking about where our ideas come from. Before I actually came to write my stories down, I often created them within my mind. It starts with  a dream, a little piece of dialogue, and it goes from there. It’s like a short scene from a movie that I can rewind or fast forward at will. I cue it up while I’m trying to fall asleep or brushing my teeth or on long car rides. Initially the scenes amuse me and entertain but then I find myself asking questions. How did these two imagepeople come to be together? Why is she angry? What made him walk out of the room? I add on, run the tape in my mind again, and see if it works. I do all of this before I sit down to write it out. Sometimes weeks or months before I actually get to writing it all down.

Where do these scenes come from? I’m not really sure. In “On Writing,” Stephen King describes his muse as a “basement guy,” who sits and smokes cigars while he does the grunt work. I like the imagery but I’m not really sure it works for me. I think the human brain is an amazing thing. We all each have our own way of processing the events and stimulation we receive in our daily adventures. For me, I think my dreams or these twilight scenes are the ways in which my brain works through the stimuli I experience in the outside world. Maybe a couple walks by and my brain starts on their story without a conscious intent. Perhaps it’s the details of the people around me, their life stories transformed. I’m not sure but I can only hope they keep coming.

Click on the banner above to find a listing of the other writers participating in this blog series.

The Creativity-Portal – a great place to get inspired
The Frigtool – a random image generator that uses Flickr to pull photos. Searches can be done by tag words.
Write to Done – Leo Babauta’s article on 31 Ways to find Inspiration for your Writing.
Seventh Sanctum – a variety of creativity tools and generators for characters, songs, plots, etc.

Image courtesy of John Althouse Cohen.


Tatiana Caldwell said...

I tend to see my ideas as mini movies, too. Nice post! And thanks for the list of links, I'm bookmarking a couple of those!

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