Tuesday, March 15, 2011

How to Get the Creative Juices Flowing

Hi everyone! I just started a new job yesterday and I've been super busy over the last few days. When I checked Google reader this morning I had 28 (yikes!) unread blog posts to catch up on! So that's what I've been doing all day whenever I need a 5-minute mental break from the brain-scrambling effort of learning a completely new piece of software.

That's enough about me; now on to the exciting stuff. I know a lot of people who are aspiring writers (I think we tend to gravitate toward each other naturally), most of whom aren't anywhere near finishing a book. I get asked a lot how I managed to write an entire book, how I come up with ideas, etc. and I'm not even published yet. The nice thing is it always gets me thinking about my writing process and I invariably give them one of three responses:
  1. know your characters
  2. know your story
  3. listen to music
I've talked a little bit about characters already (incidentally, read David Powers King's recent post on evoking emotion; it's really good), and I'll talk about knowing your story when I have more time to dedicate to blogging. What I want to talk about right now is music.

I find that every time I start outlining and developing a new story idea, I subconsciously start putting together soundtracks for it as well. Don't get me wrong, I'm not planning out the future movie based on my idea will sound. What I find myself doing, as I think about what's happening at certain points in the story and in certain scenes, is identifying songs that evoke the character's state of mind/emotion. I generally end up with a fairly eclectic selection of pieces (everything from rock to classical).

The most amazing thing is that as I begin to actually writing the story, listening to my "soundtrack" actually helps me get into the story more. And that's when writing really starts to be fun!

So, what do you do to help get your creative juices flowing?

1 comment:

  1. I need total quiet. Music helps get me in the right mood for different scenes, but I can't have it on while I write. I usually get my ideas in the shower, driving in the car, or just sitting staring at the blank space of air in front of me. Pretty much anytime my kids are leaving me alone. That's great that you use music to guide you :)