Sunday, April 3, 2011

To Motivate, or Not to Motivate

I've been sitting in front of my computer screen for the last hour trying to get my lazy self to type something. Or edit something. Or revise something. Nada, zip, zilch. Maybe this'll get things pumping?

My Methods of Motivation and Idea-Making

1. Walk! iPod or no iPod, still great. Just pick that one topic you want ideas for, and think. At least you're getting exercise, haha.
2. Take a walk... with a friend! I just recently took a walk with my friend Darcy, and we talked about a few of my books and by the time I went home I was running for my notebook to write down the bucketload of ideas.
3. This one's funny, but bear with me — some random weeked, pretend you're in a movie! Make everything you do seem somehow movie-like. I went uptown last weekend and got a hot chocolate, pretended it was coffee (I don't like coffee, that's why I didn't get it in the first place), sat outside, and chilled out. Pretending I was a movie character that was in a deep, brooding mood. Doing little things like that can give you the foundation for scenes.
4. Take ideas from your dreams! I had a dream a few weeks ago about my teachers trying to kill me — mind you, they were part cannon — and within hours after waking up I had a new book idea on my hands.
5. Freewrite. Open a Word document, close your eyes, and write whatever comes into your head. I'm not the best at this, but it works now and then. But usually for me it ends up being like:

"I'm freewriting... what should I freewrite about... oh, this song is good. So hyper! But it's ten minutes long... hahaha. Um... my books. Flame Cycle. Book three is going to be awesome. Ashley slowly trudged forth through the piles of rocks that surrounded her..."

You just witnessed me get an idea. Now I have to figure out why she's trudging forth—is she tired, or sad? Is she hurt? Why are rocks surrounding her, and why are there piles? Did her friend (who controls the element of earth) have a power overflow, or is her arch nemesis (same) having a fit?

6. Sometimes, you have to do nothing. And just sit there. For possibly minutes, hours, or even days on end. Eventually the Word document will open itself, and words will fly over the page. Eventually. Or, you might have to open it yourself and write crap for a while.
7. Listen to new music. Pick your favorite from the list you've compiled, and create a scene to it. Usually music from video game or movie scores is ideal for this. Pick the mood of the scene, choose the characters for it, and see what happens.

8. If NOTHING is happening, you may have been writing crap. No joke. Remember reading earlier "Book 3 is going to be so awesome!" Yeah, it is... but I'm on Chapter 9 (out of forty-something) and haven't been able to get anything down. I went through the past few chapters, and... well, I think I want to rewrite them before going on. The dialogue is just words on a computer screen—you can't really feel it. 'Tis not acceptable.
9. Try what I'm doing and rant to a wall!
10. READ!

I'll leave it at that for now. (: Within the next week or two I'll try a little review for a book (I Am Number Four - Pittacus Lore) but I have to finish it first. Har har har...

GIVE ME OPINIONS! In your opinion, is this a good hook for the first sentence of a novel? Are you curious to know what's going on?
"The missing girl slipped into the alleyway almost unnoticed. Almost."


Listening to: Tumbling - Yoko Shimomura (Yep, the ten-minute one mentioned earlier x3)
Reading: I Am Number Four - Pittacus Lore
(Was) Watching: Stephen King's Tommyknockers
Quote: "If you live, it won't be the end. The Soul-Eaters will come after you. You can run or you can fight. There's always a choice." - Fin-Kedinn / Wolf Brother / Michelle Paver

1 comment:

  1. Good first sentence: Yes! Although I'd recommend naming the missing girl if she's the main character. You get that something weird is going on simply from the fact that she's slipping into an alleyway by herself!

    This is a great post! I love the idea of acting as though you're in a movie. You're pretty much living through a scene to get a feel for it. Great idea.