Sometimes I get the urge to write so bad I will grab a pen and a notebook and curl up on the couch and just stare at my blank white page. I pretend I have magical powers in my eyes that will just summon words to the paper. The urge and want to write is there, but the words and ideas won’t flow freely. This becomes a problem. Here are some ways I counter that:
Music: Listening to music is probably my favorite way to brainstorm. I use this particular method I like to call “Sound-tracking”. I listen to a song and ask myself this question: If this song was playing in a movie or show, what would the scene be like? I can listen to the words and the sounds and I am able to almost see in my mind a scene unfolding. Music helps me get into certain moods as well.
Watching Boring TV: OK, so Planet Earth ISN’T that boring. It is really educational and the scenery is beautiful. Some of the best ideas can come from taking something that is a fact in our world and adjusting it to fit your world. I have sat there before watching TV, shows like Planet Earth, 1000 ways to die or even sitcoms, taking notes on a small pad or book. Looking back on them when I need to brainstorm or get an idea really helps me out.
Read a Book: Reading has always been one of the best ways to get ideas. I don’t consider it stealing so much as doing research. You writing a novel about Vampires? Read both sides of the Vampire coin, Get an Anne Rice book and that one about the girly Vampires that sparkle. Read the books that look and sound really cheesy. Don’t just read the BEST book for the genre, read the mediocre, the boring, and the bad as well. You can learn what works, what doesn’t, and even improve current facts and myths.
Look at Pictures: A picture is worth a thousand words. You can stare at a picture and just let your mind wander about it. Look at the picture and write down as many questions as you can. Like this, Why was this picture taken/painted/drawn? Who is that person/thing? Why are the doing this/that? What IS that? Why is the sky green instead of blue? Once you have your questions, take a moment and answer them yourself making it up as you go along. You have just started brainstorming! See how far you can take it from there!
Hope this helps you the way it has helped me!
I sat last night listening to Nessa type away at chapter 2, sometimes clarifying why something happened in my story the way it did, or my thoughts on what will happen next. After she was finished writing we started getting on the subject of what was going to be happening in our story. I realized something. We were looking for the book to go two different ways to, not just end the story, but tell it. This was our first real clash as collaborating writers. This being said, we had worked side by side for years in World of Warcraft, as either guild officers, raiders, achievement hunters or near the end Co-leaders of our guild, this wasn’t the first time we had ideas that clashed. We both are passionate about what we think, regardless of what anyone else thinks of it. I was starting to think, after our disagreement, that this might be over before it started. That’s when I thought back to every other time we had ended up tell each other off, I gave it about an hour then messaged her to play League of Legends. We did, and we made a few seriously awesome comebacks. It was great!
Today is a beautiful day in Halifax, the city-town I live in. The sun is shining, the grass is green, and the firemen are out wearing high-heels to promote awareness of women and child abuse. I hear they’re going to do a mile walk in heels to raise money for charity. The best part of today? I went all-out on my tim’s trip and bought me an iced coffee AND a regular coffee. I will finish typing in the first chapter today. No matter what. Also, small hint to aspiring writers out there. Never, ever, ever write something on paper then expect yourself to type it into a computer in the same format. You will always add to it. Always. Even when you think you’ve already added enough, you will add more, or change something to describe better. It’s a curse. I don’t think I will be writing out my chapters any longer, as much as I don’t like it I will probably just type them out. This being said. I love writing things down on paper. It just feels so nice. There’s something magical about actually hearing your pen or pencil scratch against the paper.
So, I was thinking yesterday as I was writing. That every writer kind of needs a vice. Something that focuses them on what they’re doing. Be it coffee, cigarettes, liquor or something else. But then I thought a little more, are they really vices if they’re helping us focus on something we love so much? Once upon a time, people used to sniff “snuff”, which was a brand of cocaine, because they thought it cleared their sinuses and helped them focus. At that time it wasn’t seen as a vice unless you did it to excess.
A note from Ness
It’s really hard to put a pen to paper and force words to come out. That’s why its good to take a break sometimes and just let your mind be free. Play a video game, read a book, or watch some T.V. You will be surprised how good it is for your creative process.
As an example, I just lost like 3 games of League of Legends in a row. I know, terrible, I am not the best player, but man do I LOVE the champions. So many champions! Each unique in their style, gameplay, and backstory. It makes me want to create a champion myself (and maybe I will for you guys one day!). I know I draw a lot of creative energy from stuff I already see and how I feel and mold it into something newer, and in my mind, better.
A Note from Ness
You probably came here for something interesting and written by someone cool, I am sorry to disappoint you. We are just two nerds, Eric, and myself, Ness. We are writing our first novel together and for your viewing pleasure this blog will contain the pieces of our sanity that we will lose on this adventure down the road and lifestyle of first time authors.
From brainstorming to long sleepless nights, with a dash writers block, this blog will be our diary. Expect to hear our bitching, moaning, and groaning along side our excitement and some first time author advice. As this book grows from a small seed into the most bad-ass plant you will ever meet, we will do our best to document everything as if it was a newborn child, from its first poop to its first step.