X-Men, as in the movies, which I’d thought of as recent until I looked them up and realized the first one came out in 2000! And the fourth one, X-Men: First Class, is coming out this year.
What does this have to do with writing, you ask? Well, every now and then, it’s fun to take a break from the written word, and movies are a great way to do that!
I’ve noticed sometimes when I feel tired and uninspired, immersing myself in another creative medium can give me a sudden spark of inspiration in writing. It doesn’t have to be movies – it can be walking through an outdoor garden, looking at photography, visiting an art museum, listening to music, finding a fun TV series, or even arts and crafts with the kids. What inspires you?
Jot. Jot down ideas whenever and wherever they come to you, on whatever you’ve got at the moment – a receipt, a napkin, a takeout box, a magazine page or insert. Ignore all those people giving you funny looks. Pretend it’s a note to call your mom, if you have to!
If you don’t Jot your ideas down, you’re likely to forget them, no matter how full blown or detailed or unforgettable they seem at the time. Even if you only Jot down a few words to jog your memory later, do it! I’ve never regretted Jotting things down, but have definitely regretted not Jotting.
Heat. That old saying about jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire? Apply it to your characters! Heat things up! Remember, you can do this externally, by upping the action, or internally, by upping the emotional stakes.
Sometimes it’s a good way to get unstuck, especially if you feel a scene is too slow, or you’re not sure where it’s going. This may sound silly, but try going overboard. You might think you’re adding too much Heat, and maybe if your characters were living in the real world, you’d be right. But since we’re talking fiction, don’t hold back – think of all the things that might add conflict, suspense, tension, fear, worry, excitement, terror, success against all odds, colossal failure, the end of the world as we know it, and write them in!
At the least, you’ll generate some ideas, and if it’s just too much, you can douse them later.
Some pictures from last week, before the wind and rain set in.
For a writing exercise, why not try watching the leaves fall, and seeing where the inspiration takes you!
Praying mantis patrolling the pool fence . . .
Watch out all you flies.