Tuesday, November 21, 2006

(Who are these guys? Answers below...)


Writing Tips: "Where do you get your ideas?"

I get them from everywhere. Look around…here are things I use to get ideas.

1. Don't try to write when you feel awful. The stuff that pours – or oozes – out will be tainted. But remember what it feels like for later.
2. Write when you have that buzzing in your stomach that says something is about to happen. Something will.
3. Find something funny to read – Evil Editor is funny – and get some inspiration from all the funny writers there. Okay, some of them are serious, but you can still draw on their energy.
4. Eavesdrop on someone's conversation. I just heard someone in another cubicle at work – on the phone – say, "Well, I've managed to stop the bleeding." I don't know what he was talking about, but I'd like to guess.
5. More eavesdropping: "Huh. I'll bet he thought that was enough, but it wasn't enough for me."
6. Yet more: "The bottom line is, if they don't get that package I sent, it's going to mean wholesale mayhem. Yes, just in time for the Holidays. Wholesale!" Lol! Sounds like retail to me.
7. People tend to use pretty violent imagery in their regular conversations. But you can say the spookiest stuff with plain language. Think up a scary thing and describe it.
8. Everyday something beautiful presents itself for your pleasure. Every day.
9. I only read the news if I want to get fired up over something or find good names for characters or look into some real crime stories, or…well, the newspaper is a gold mine. Just don't get stuck in it.
10. Dreams, imagination, playing "what if," laughing, listening, reading. Ideas are everywhere – pluck one out and use it.

(Left to right: Longfellow, Poe, Sartre, Dickens. In color, Matt Groening)


The way the sunlight illuminates a watercolor by David Authier, and the earth turns quickly enough that I don't have to worry about it fading.

Tuesday is Free Cookie Day at my local Subway. I got an oatmeal raisin – my favorite. It not only tastes great, but it sounds so healthy.

It's quiet at work today – lots of people have taken the week off. I like the quiet – the better for listening in on conversations! (Just for writing ideas, mind you. I'm not just a nosy parker. Really.)


Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

I got 3 right, Longfellow, Poe and Dickens (big Dickens fan here).

Kate, you write one of the most fun blogs, always cock full of entertainment and great writing tips.

Keep eavesdropping!

Anonymous said...

Eavesdropping is great, not just for the quirky content of the conversation, but as a way to pick up the nuances of how different people (teens, the elderly, businesspeople, etc.) speak.

Also, I like the phone book for finding character names.

cassandra said...

David Authier water color Please will you post a picture of it.He was a dear friend and fellow artist at Chouinard Art Inst1955/57 and life long friend.
cassandra einstein