Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Finding inspiration

Many of my recent posts have been about gearing up for NaNoWriMo (like this one, this one and this one) and, if you don't yet have an idea for your novel, this post might help with that, too.

But today's post isn't just about finding an idea for the upcoming write-a-thon, but about finding inspiration in lots of places. About a year and a half ago I wrote about using art as inspiration, but really, that spark of creativity can be found in just about any object or person. I once wrote a (very) short story about a man's profile. I was eating in McDonald's with my family (we were squeezing dinner in between dance classes and basketball practice. Sue me.) and happened to notice the man in the booth across the aisle from us. I did a double-take because I thought for a moment that I was looking at a full-sized, in-color Roman coin. His profile was classic Roman aristocrat and I wondered if his bloodline included the Caesars. A glance, a look, inspiration and a short story.

But little things....mundane objects....the odd spoon in your silverware drawer, a jagged stone off the ground, a leaf...can also bring inspiration and spark entire stories in our minds. That's the cool part of being a writer. Our minds never lack for stories. Just give us an object and a few minutes of thinking time and we're off.


1. Close your eyes. WAIT! Read all the directions first and THEN close your eyes.

2. Count to five while turning away from your computer.

3. Not facing your computer, open your eyes and focus on the first thing your gaze lights on.

4. Using that object, no matter how mundane, write a scene in which it plays an integral part. It can become the protagonist (personification) or will, perhaps, be an object used or wanted by the protagonist. Or maybe the antagonist uses it against the protagonist.

5. Okay, now you can close your eyes and follow from #2. :)

Play safe and leave a tip!


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