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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

my finger has an itch...

My finger has an itch to write...but write about what?

A lot of writers gets this feeling, especially when it comes to starting a novel. There's an itch that is driving us to write...write something...but we don't know what to write about. Some writers get this often, some of us do not. It may come around once a blue moon, and if we don't write RIGHT at that moment...on THAT particular day, the moment passes, and we are back to our dreary lives...the effortless flow of amazing words pouring out of our souls that only comes when we have that itch - is GONE!

All we needed was some writing utensils...and something to write about!

What can you do when this moment arises? You know you only have a short time!

Well, if it comes and passes you by because you often have no inspiration at the time, here is a trick to get you writing!

Before the itch comes, pull some random books off your shelf, or perhaps pick a couple favorites you keep around. Stack them on one side of your desk, pull out a piece of paper and list how many books you have down the page on every other line. If you REALLY want to get wild, double the number on the page.

For the next part you can do this in either two ways. Start with a random sentence, or start with a beginning sentence of each book. I'll explain the reason for the two different options later.

Write down the first sentence on the first line and then put the book on the opposite side of the table. Grab the next book and do the same in the next line. Continue doing this till you have finished all the books. If you have decided to double your list, then after choosing the beginning sentence, then flip to the end of the book and write down the beginning sentence of the last chapter on the next line and continue this process till you've completed all the books.

Then cut out each sentence that you have written down. Be careful not to cut off any words.

Now you have a random pile of sentences. What to do with them?

Well the next time you have that itch on the tip of your finger and do not know what to do, drop these sentences in a hat, mix 'em up, and grab one with your eyes closed. Whichever one you pull out will be the beginning sentence to a short story you will write. Give yourself a time frame to write. Ten to fifteen minutes is ideal to get a good story started. In that time frame, write whatever it is that comes to mind from that sentence into a story.

Starting with the beginning sentences gives the feel of a beginning of a story. This works perfectly for those who don't know what story to write but want to write one. If you doubled your number, writing the last sentence of the last chapter gives you the feel of the final conflict or the coming of the end of a book. This can have your mind trying to piece together what had happened in order to write 'How it ends'! However if you decide to choose a random page and pick a random sentence instead, it's like you start a story in the middle of a book, already deeply immersed in a world - perhaps a fight scene.

You will find in no time at all,  you will have a story pouring out of you, and who knows, once you start you may not want to stop!!

Have writer's block but need to write? You can do the same thing to get the creative juices flowing!

Now get out there and start writing!

And don't forget to join National Novel Writing Month in November!!

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