The Starter & The Zone
I've been thinking about doing a series for a while now where I talk about how I create a novel/story. It would include my creative process from beginning to end. Welp, I decided I'd start it on my blog first then move to possibly putting some elements of it on my YouTube page. We shall see how things go.
Over the years, I've been asked what inspires me? Where did you come up with the idea for this story or that series?
I'd love to be one of those elusive authors who says they have a specific muse that ignites the flame to the perfect idea. Once the match is struck the ideas begin to pour out of them and GOLD!
No ma'am or sir! That's not me.
I'm not even close to that person. In the past, I've had ideas come to me when I was reading a blog or news article. Some even came in my dreams. As time moves forward, the inspiration comes from a whole range of places.
My most recent idea came to me while I was watching a game show. My ideas come to me at the most random times. I've been listening to a song and eureka! I need to pick up one of the many notebooks that I own (I have far too many to even offer up a count of the accurate number). I laughed out loud at an interview where an author said inspiration struck while they were in the middle of shampooing their hair. That's happened to me before. it is an awkward situation when inspiration strikes while you're in public.
The worst for me was standing in a grocery store. all of a sudden, the fix for an issue I was having for a plot hits me. I literally stood in the aisle writing notes and pieces of the scene right there in the store. Needless to say, I left there with yet another notebook.
Friends and family have grown accustom to me having a bag with pens and notebooks or my computer with me at all times. It used to be such an issue. I'd get so much grief from my family because they didn't understand why I spent so much time in front of my computer.
Most who don't have a creative mind, don't understand how much of a process it is to create the worlds that authors, artists, musicians, etc. create. They don't understand the "zone" or how easy it is to be lost "in our own world". It's a beautiful place where magical things happen. There are times when I come from that zone, look back at the page, and wonder if I'm the one who put those words on the page.
once i have an idea, I begin jotting notes for whatever element of it I'm given in that moment. there are times when the characters are tight-lipped and I get a glimpse of an event. Other times, the characters are downright chatty and is ready to have their entire story unfold right then and there. Problem there is I'm possibly in the middle of working on some other story.
I'll talk about my precious characters and their regular "Modes of Interruptous" in a future post. It makes life so interesting when that happens. Let me get back to the zone.
I have candles all over my home that I light because I like calming scents surrounding me when I write. I have one burning now as I'm writing this post. I also have headphones on with a playlist of music that will allow me the freedom to write. I find if I have music that I want to sing along to then I won't write a single worthwhile word. If I have music that fits the vibe I'm in during that moment then not only will I have a successful writing session then I excel beyond what I wanted to achieve during that time slot. I also set a timer so I allow myself time to get up and move or take breaks. The breaks for me are just as important as setting up the candle and the music.
Every author has there own process and place where they write best. Know yourself. Know what you like and what keeps things flowing for you. Your zone is your own which means you have to know what's going to get you to a place where you feel comfortable to be free with your characters and the words that bring them to life.
The zone is a place I love to settle into. It's not a place that I immediately find myself in as soon as I sit down to write. I commend those who have that ability as well. I have waves where I can't stop writing and the scene along with all of the details within it flow freely. There are other times when have nothing but the dialogue between the characters. Other times, I'm privy to nothing but the location. Be open to whatever comes during that writing session. Accept it and love on it. You never know where it will take you. I used to struggle with the acceptance part of it.
It's taken time to get me to where I am now. Even now, I'm not perfect but I am more understanding of who I am as a writer. One of the things I discovered over the years is that i am a very visual person.
Being a visual person, the locations of a scene take me a little longer to write. I'll touch on Visual Aspects & Seeing the Scene in my next post.
For now, I'll leave you with: "Write on and let your imagination fly, Sparrows!"