Monday, November 10, 2008

Muse? What muse?

I would say that somewhere in the top five questions an author is asked is the perennial favorite, "Where do you get your ideas?" Huh. Must I confess? I have no idea.

I write using the seat of the pants method. The two times I've attempted to outline books prior to writing, neither of the books bore even the faintest of resemblances to the outlines. So how do I manage it? Free association? No actually, I allow my mind to explore all the possibilities of what if.

What if the people were blue? What if King Arthur never died, but went to his home planet, Avalon instead? What if angels could shift into any animal they wanted to? What if.

Sometimes, our brain is trying to let us know that there's a great story lurking inside, but our control knobs won't let us go. Then that story dies, because we've strangled it. Nearly every time I have trouble with a story, it has to do with that very issue. Instead of letting my brain present all the possibilities... I try to squeeze it into a story girdle, trying to prevent any of the jiggles and wiggles that might possibly make it interesting.

Inspiration? That's the what if. What if I turned right instead of left? What if my character crochets while he watches football? What if my heroine loves to do woodwork or plumbing? When I as the writer open myself to new possibilities, I discover the story lurking in the shadows, just waiting for me to set it free.

What if a dragon and a tiger fell in love? Hmmm. See? Infinite possibilities. With all those possibilities, the only real problem is finding the time to write all the stories.



  1. Great post, Anny. It is indeed the "what ifs" that inspire some of the greatest stories out there. :D

  2. so where's this tiger/dragon story, hmmmmmm?

  3. Great blog! Don't laugh, but when I have writer's block I put on a movie - my favorites to overcome writer's block...Dodge Ball, Overboard, Galaxy Quest, Quigley Down Under, Enemy of the State, Bedazzled, Frequency and the original Die Hard. I rotate them. I've got to say, Dodge Ball is the best. My son recently called complaining of a bad case of writer's block and I asked - Do you have the movie Dodge Ball? He said - Yeah, my roommate does. I told him to put it on and it would cure his writer's block. He told me the next day it was amazing how well it worked.

  4. I've also heard that music works. Going for a walk.
    Going shopping. Doing the dishes...

  5. Great blog, Anny.

    What if? is the best question a writer can ask. :-)

  6. I love seeing how your brain works :-)

  7. Cool ideas Anny.

    Did you see on the news last night that a tiger cub and a monkey are the best of friends so adorably cuddle up to one another a lot? I don't remember where they're at. I just caught a glimpse but soooooo cute and your mention of a tiger and a dragon falling in love reminded me of it.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.