Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Writer's little helper

I warn all readers that I've been a bit sick, so I apologize if I ramble.

I don't really have a sense of how many people read this blog, but I propose that everyone should thrown in your best suggestion for progressing your writing. Here are my top 5 ways I get writing.

1. I listen to music

2. Running

3. I search the net for pictures of people I think look like my characters. (same with setting)

4. I find my favorite piece of art and describe what's happening in the piece. If there is a person in the piece, I write the scene from their point-of-view.

5. Unstructured daydreaming

Now, it's your turn


Keith said...

Best Ideas - (1) people watch in the park, or better yet one of those cheesy art walks where people let their freak flag fly, or better yet, the courthouse (2) listening to inspiring lyrics from my favorite songs and try to describe the scene better than the musician (3) play a game where you take a song you like, pull apart the lyrics, and try to fit them into your character's dialogue in a way that repeats them near verbatim, but in a way that no one will recognize where the lyric came from. I find this really adds depth to characters, and one I put such words in their mouth, they begin to take on a personality I couldn't have given them just on my own. EX: the prof in my boulder story... how do i write about a pregnant 45 yr old professor? Not from life experiences... so I added in my own words "I hate tha woman" and the lyric "She's got one eye out" from a song by the Fluid... bam! Now she's not just a prof, she's a person... she holds grudges, but I don't know why... she is capable of being bitter and vengeful... all from a single lyric. Think of the one scene in Kill Bill where the brothers are talking and one says " i sold your hatori honzo sword" then the camera shows the sword in the closet... how much depth did that add? Hell, It made the movie.

Mitra said...

I like structured daydreaming. My mind will go too many different direction if left unnatended. What I really need to know is: what on earth does my character really want to do next. So I have to prime the head with the images from my story and the situation that I need to know about. Then I get a running start by re-envisioning a previous daydream about the story and once the dream is flowing, then I ever so carefully push my character into the situation and watch the movie in my head to find out what he/she is thinking and doing. Sometimes I have to make a number of runs at it to hit the right target but when I do, the story tells itself to me and I just write it down.

When all else fails, the old cliche of drink really does grease the flow of writing.