Well, I thought I’d take a break from my usual posts about Native America and bring you something different today. This is from my website, by the way. It has occured to me that you who frequent our blog, are often writers in their own right — and if so, you have my sympathy. This is not always the easiest of business’s. Tips can be valuable. So here are mine — on how to get yourself out of writer’s block. Now the article featured below is from my website and I wish it were a larger font, but I can’t seem to change it — so please forgive. So here we go. Now, don’t forget to come on in and post and tell me your ways to get yourself out of writer’s block, as well. Okay? By the way, the picture above is myself and Lois Greiman with Oklahoma romance writers. The picture to the left is my husband and myself at the Grand Canyon.
BY KAREN KAY
|Starved, for ideas? Can’t seem to decide where that next scene should start, that scene you were certain would be easy to write? Or do you find your characters standing before you with arms folded, a scowling expression, tapping their feet,and refusing to go any further? There’s not an author alive who doesn’t have trouble with a scene or with his characters from time to time.If you have ever had this happen to you while writing your manuscript, you may not be suffering from lack of imagination-itis, as friends and associates might like you to believe. But, rather than blame that fleeting thing called imagination, let’s take a step back and look at it this way: Your trouble might be nothing more than a simple case of not enough research-ism. Research, that terrible word that spells w-o-r-k. Research, that ephemeral term that means hours at the library, or hundreds of dollars spent on b-o-r-i-n-g history books or long hours spent on the internet. I can’t think of anything less interesting than my high school history classes, and if you have had any sort of similar experience, I don’t blame you for looking upon research as a kind of curse word. Now, how many times have I heard people say, “I’d like to write a book, but I don’t think I can do the research,” or “I don’t know where to start the re-search.”
Well, truth be told-and, shhh, don’t tell anyone that I have let you in on the secret, because others might not be easy on me- research is not only easy, it’s fun.
I have a quiz for you. Let’s see how you score on the research line.
2. Do you read books or go to the movies?
3. Do you have interests that require you to read about them?
4. Have you ever had a relationship with the opposite sex?
Give yourself one point for each question that you answered a yes to. Do you have at least one point for the entire quiz? If you do, congratulations and well done. You’ve been doing research. “What?” you say, “Are you crazy?”
Well, maybe. But the truth is, all of life is research. Yes, it’s true, there’s a lot to be learned from history books, and if you enjoy that sort of thing write historicals. But all of life- let me repeat that- all of life is research. I believe an author’s work is imbued with his observations, his life experiences, and resultant emotions
Got a stuck scene? Go out and live. Go to a movie. Go dancing. Take a friend to lunch. Go somewhere you’ve never been. Go to the library or just talk to someone.
Do something and do it for a few days- maybe even a week- and before you know it, thoughts and images will come to you to get that scene moving again, or to get your characters simmered down enough to solve their problems. Believe me, it works. Something will come to you.
Don’t be fooled- here’s where a lot of people depart from reality- don’t think that an author stays home and types on his computer and turns in a perfect manuscript without having ever stepped a foot outside his door. Somewhere, somehow, that author went out and lived life.
An author- an artist- has probably the most comprehensive job in all the world. Why? Because every single incident he observes, every single thing that happens to him is fodder for an idea in his story. Indeed, an author is indebted to others- to life around him- for a continuing, fresh flow of ideas.
So, perhaps the first step in research is simply this one: realizing that your research has already begun.
The second step is to be more alert than ever, to let your mind recognize the value of what you see and feel, to record it against a busy mind that will begin to forget as other incidents intrude.
Just carry forward doing something that interests you, that you enjoy, something that inspires you. And before long, you’ll have a rich fund of story ideas waiting to be developed.
Remember this the next time you’re having trouble with a scene. Go out and live life to the fullest. In fact, splurge on it. Your book will reflect your enthusiasm.
|HINTS FROM KAREN KAYWhile I hardly consider myself an expert on the subject of creative writing, I have found that I do seem to have an abundance of opinions on the subject. Some of these opinions might prove useful to others, some may not.
Well, that’s it. What do you think? Did you learn anything? Do you have tips you’d like to share? If so, please do come on in and let’s talk. Now, please be aware that I am in Florida taking a very extensive course and so I will be checking your posts at lnch and at dinner and also at the end of th evening. So please bear with me. Okay?