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Mr. White Board, You’re The One

February 10, 2010

You make writing so much fun…An inanimate object to the rescue! Today was filled with various forms of productivity that were distinctly not book related, so by the time I sat down to write I was sleepy and distracted and not really feeling the whole creativity thing. I refused to let myself slip, though, so I pulled out my trusty white board for some brainstorming. I wrote down the first character names that came to mind, which naturally were some of my MCs, and then began filling out bulleted lists for each of them. I tried to avoid entries like “has curly hair” or “loves the color red”; while characteristics along those lines can certainly be important when crafting a character, they’re not the sorts of things that I tend to derive inspiration from. I’d much rather muse about how a character reacts to thunderstorms, or the types of stories they were told as a child, or who they feel most safe with. Complexities, flaws, contradictions, surprises–those are the aspects of a character that I find compelling. That a character loves toast with extra butter may be momentarily noteworthy in a scene, but is not typically of great dramatic significance.

Sketching these quick, free association profiles helped a great deal with my segue into actual writing. I can definitely still feel a fair amount of rust on my gears, but playing around on my white board was a refreshing, low pressure way to continue re-familiarizing myself with my world and its inhabitants. My daily word counts are still low compared to what they were before the wisdom teeth “vacation,” but they’re steadily climbing back up!

How do you inspire yourself to write when you’d really rather prefer to just take a nap?

One Comment leave one →
  1. February 10, 2010 11:25 pm

    I always found it helpful to read what I’ve already written up to where I’d like to write, because I’d know what would feel right coming up next. (Pace, flow, what information needs to be explicit at this point, Character A needs to have already met Character B by this point and for some reason she hasn’t, etc.) Except now that I’ve been working on it for almost a year and I can basically recite entire sections of it, that little trick doesn’t work as well as it used to. It still works on newer sections, though.

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