Getting started on the next project.
You’re done. Then what? The answer to every writing question applies here too: “Keep writing”. It’s your job to keep yourself from becoming rusty and believe me, you will. Starting something is hard though. I recently finished “Why Wolves Fear Humans” and instead of writing I’m typing out a blog post.
Why? I need a spark.
Don’t get me wrong, I have ideas but ideas are easy. I know I want to write a story about Shadowpeople, Alien Abduction, one where we follow the viewpoint of Death Himself. But it is hard to come by and find the spark I’m looking for.
What is this magical spark, you might ask. It is hard to explain. Imagine looking at a puzzle. You see all the individual pieces but you can’t make sense of it. It just seems so random and while the pieces themselves make sense to you, you don’t see the connections between them. Suddenly you start to notice something. One piece fits the other… Your brain crafts an image. The image might not be as accurate as the end result but because this image appears: you can start building. I see the situation I’m in now as a similar thing. I have ideas, individual ideas, but I cannot connect them yet. I need to find the connections between the pieces and then I’ll start seeing a story. Once the story is there I can start writing.
Writing is an entirely different process. I’ll change things. I’ll go back and remove things or even drop ideas entirely. But by that point, I will have written. I will have a story to build on. I need to find this story now. It is really hard. Here are some tips on how to make it easier:
Don’t try to force it. You know how you open ever cabinet in your house looking for something and then find it while casually walking around the house? This is the same. Don’t force yourself to connect ideas. Go and do something mindless: go for a walk or to the gym or perhaps just take a long nap.
Refuel your brain. Ideas come from things you see, hear or experience. Go out and live. Get new impulses, talk to people, just go out there and discover the world.. . As a writer you have to be several people. You have to act. Restock your pile of ideas.
Don’t go for obvious. Obvious is done and overdone. People have read, others have written it and you have probably seen it. When connecting ideas go for something a bit sillier. Something that makes you go: “I haven’t seen that in stories”.
Write what you know, learn what you don’t. It is a timeless saying to “write what you know” but every intellect has limits. Try and learn new things. Read a book about something you don’t know. Watch a documentary on something you never lived
Don’t be scared. Keep Calm and write. Don’t worry about criticism and spelling and doable or not. Just find an idea that is something you can enjoy writing and then write it. You don’t know that what you will write is any good until you have written it.
To get your brain thinking here is a little writing prompt from me:
Take a story (from a book, movie, tv-series) you hate. Something you think is horribly bad written and make your own version of it. Turn it into something you would read. Good luck!