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  • Inconvenient inspiration?
    by Astrea at 10:29 on 25 August 2013
    Is it just me, or does anyone else finally hit upon the perfect way to handle a tricky plot twist when they're about to go to sleep, in the shower, or somewhere equally annoying?

    Why not when I'm sitting at my laptop, damn it? That's all I want to know!
  • Re: Inconvenient inspiration?
    by Catkin at 10:47 on 25 August 2013
    Sadly no. Well, hardly ever. Answers to my writing problems rarely come to me unless I sit down and force myself to think about them.

    Entire stories appear out of nowhere at inconvenient times, though. Two fell on my head last week. Thank goodness they do, or I would have nothing to write about.
  • Re: Inconvenient inspiration?
    by EmmaD at 11:03 on 25 August 2013
    That's why I have a notebook and pen by the bed. Mind you, for me it's more often while I'm walking or driving that the solution floats up.

    Jonah Lehrer's book Imagine, about creative thinking, is good on this; he explores how it can either be going banging your head against the problem that makes the answer come - staying with being stuck - or letting go of it and just doing something repetitive or otherwise mentally undemanding.

    I also know that for me the creative brain which imagines sequences of words and action is slightly different from the one which solves structural story problems . For the latter I get out pen and scrap paper and start mind mapping and that sort of thing. Either that or take the problem for a walk.

    Edited by EmmaD at 11:04:00 on 25 August 2013
  • Re: Inconvenient inspiration?
    by EmmaD at 15:03 on 25 August 2013
    Entire stories appear out of nowhere at inconvenient times, though.


    I have slowly realised that no story idea is the worse for being left to stew in the back of my head or my notebook, though. It's one of the ways my writerly self is the opposite of the rest of me: in everything else I'm a grabber/snatcher with a terror of irreversible change and loss...

    But, dammit! There I was, this week, taking a big decision which might mean I can write both the book-of-the-blog and the big, amorphous, scary, exciting non-fiction project, and still stay alive if not solvent...

    ... and then all weekend new ideas about a new novel have been shoving themselves into my brain, using all the best aspects of a project that ultimately didn't quite work, but doing something completely else and new and exciting and it's just fizzily thrilling and bloody hell, I'm supposed to be convalescing and I feel quite drunk with it!

    But what about the other things? And they're always whole bloomin' books. When I die, I want to be reincarnated as a flash fictioneer and mistress of haiku...

    Edited by EmmaD at 15:04:00 on 25 August 2013


    Edited by EmmaD at 15:04:00 on 25 August 2013
  • Re: Inconvenient inspiration?
    by Account Closed at 18:44 on 25 August 2013
    or letting go of it and just doing something repetitive or otherwise mentally undemanding.


    All my best ideas come when I'm out walking the dog, so I bought myself a dictaphone. Okay, I look a bit odd walking along chatting to myself and the wind whistles a bit loudly at times, but it works.
  • Re: Inconvenient inspiration?
    by Catkin at 19:24 on 25 August 2013
    And they're always whole bloomin' books


    It's not fair! I've been trying to think of an idea for another novel for thirteen years. Still no nearer to finding one.

  • Re: Inconvenient inspiration?
    by SandraD at 20:15 on 25 August 2013
    Walking, or passengering, in the car or riding pillion on a motorbike, often works, but last night I thought of a vital point for a current novel just after I'd switched off the light. I seized propelling pencil and notepad, confident that I had a blank sheet, and made a note. Only to find this morning that the lead had somehow retracted.
  • Re: Inconvenient inspiration?
    by EmmaD at 20:32 on 25 August 2013
    Only to find this morning that the lead had somehow retracted.


    Oh, nooooooooo!
  • Re: Inconvenient inspiration?
    by Annecdotist at 08:42 on 26 August 2013
    Walking, weeding the garden, waking up in the middle of the night all great for ideas. I don't use a notebook on the assumption that if it's any good it will come back, but can sometimes lose a perfectly formed phrase.

    Emma, are you going to write a book of the blog? That would be excellent.
  • Re: Inconvenient inspiration?
    by EmmaD at 10:19 on 26 August 2013
    are you going to write a book of the blog?


    Yes - I just need about six weeks clear, I reckon, to write it, and then a few more to find out if it would be better to persuade one of a small handful of publishers that they'd like to publish it, or to self-publish - for which I'd need money, or possibly the oomph to try crowd-funding it.

    It's finding those six weeks that seems to be so impossible...
  • Re: Inconvenient inspiration?
    by Astrea at 10:57 on 26 August 2013
    can sometimes lose a perfectly formed phrase.


    Yes, I've had that happen too. I do have my Ipad mini by the bed, if I think my idea is something I really have to capture right away.

    I suppose what annoys me is the, 'Duh! Why didn't I think of that before?' feeling I always get. If only I could reach the solution without staring at the same paragraph for ages and not being able to move forward.

    Maybe it will get easier? Or maybe my brain needs an overhaul
  • Re: Inconvenient inspiration?
    by V`yonne at 13:29 on 26 August 2013
    In the swimming pool! I need an underwater notepad.