So I don’t know about you, but I usually don’t pay much attention to where I do my writing. It’s usually at home, on the couch or at the desk. The printer is nearby, and there are some shelves to stash notes and what-not. Plus, there is a nice big window nearby that lets in a ton of sunlight. I’ve got a power bar within easy reach to keep any devices charged, and the bar fridge has pop and snacks in it. All-in-all, it’s a nice little nook to write in a fairly crowded home. I like where I write. It’s comfortable.
But is it conducive to writing?
Where you do your writing can have a big impact on the quality of what you produce, as well as the relative ease or difficulty. Now, everyone is going to have slightly different ideal conditions. For some people, they like/need to be surrounded by chaos. Others need things to be clean. Some like quiet, others need noise. I can go on and on, but that’d be boring.
Can you believe that it’s already March? Where has all the time gone? I mean, really! It feels like it was still January only just last week!
Like time slipping by unnoticed, we often don’t recognize inspiration in our work. (Smooooth transition. I know, right?) Stories like Beauty and the Beast or Cinderella have been in our collective unconscious for so long that we don’t recognize the elements of them that we’re recycling into new stories. That’s one of the reasons why there are so many “nothing new” quotes. You all know at least one (or a variation of). Things like:
- There is nothing new in the world except the history you do not know. –Harry S Truman
- There is nothing new except what has been forgotten. –Marie Antoinette
- There is nothing new, from Greek mythology to Shakespeare to every romcom ever made, we’re just reimagining the same 12 story plots over and over again –so what makes people keep watching and listening? It’s all about the character. –Jeremy Renner
Remember earlier this month when I was talking about coming up with character backgrounds? And I said I was going to get my wonderful hubby to whip one up for me? Well, he did! (My husband deserves love and recognition and calorie-free baking for the rest of his life)
Unfortunately the site I can host it at doesn’t like us, so the generator won’t be functional until Monday(ish) when the server admin is able to take a look and see why it isn’t working online (because it works offline for us). So… here is the wonderful, amazing, Character Generator… that won’t be working until Monday or Tuesday >.<
It’s not super pretty, but I think it’s pretty dang comprehensive and effective. What more might you possibly want from a Character Generator? (Let us know if you have suggestions and I’ll see if he’s willing to include more awesomeness)
So, now let me plug some of my all time favourite generators while we’re talking about it.
The level of detail that goes into describing your character before they even enter the story is going to be different for everyone. Some people like to just have a rough description while others want to have every last detail written out. Regardless of where your preference lies, it is important to track information about your character(s).
For one, you want to make sure the character is consistent throughout the story. They shouldn’t start off as a 5’8 blonde, become a 6’2 brunette in the middle, and end as a 5’1 redhead. Unless, of course, part of the story is about these strange physical changes that the character is undergoing.
Over the years my friends have all heard me refer, at one point or another, to my muses. Yes. Plural.
I had one for poetry, one for writing, one for drawing, one for pretty much every type of creative endeavor there was. It seems excessive, doesn’t it? Yet that’s how it truly felt -the inspiration for each type of art and creativity felt so different when the medium changed even so slightly. By laying claim to multiple muses it gave me an excuse when I hit a creative block.
“My poetry muse is on strike, and the others are rebelling because I paid her too much attention for too long.”
These were the kinds of excuses that I had when I hit a creative block, or daily life drained me of a little too much energy so I had no drive to create something. I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced the infighting of multiple muses (I have no idea how Apollo kept those girls from devolving into cat fights every couple days), but you’ve probably experienced the Excuses.
So as anybody who has ever experienced writer’s block knows, finding inspiration can be difficult. Too little and it doesn’t help, too much and you’re distracted. Some people like looking at art or images, others watch specific videos, some read, and some use music.
Personally I’ve used a bit of each in my time. It depends on my mood and what half-formed ideas are floating around in my head. Earlier today I was listening to Everyday Superhero (Smash Mouth) and something about the song just clicked with a dream I had the other night and bam! Plot formed! Of course it doesn’t always happen this way, and you can’t really force it.
In NaNo there is talk of Plot Bunnies and Plot Ninjas (I’ve postulated a Plot Bunja, as the furry ninja turned up for me in November to help with my story) -the embodiment of the types of inspiration. Sometimes though, it isn’t full on writer’s block… sometimes a burst of inspiration won’t help because it’s more motivation block than anything else. I’ve been experiencing this quite a bit myself lately.
But I think I may have a cure! 🙂