I’m always looking for new ideas, both as a writer and as an artist. Ideas, as we know, come from EVERYWHERE.
As I get into a new manuscript for a middle grade novel – at least, as I get into one that I’m trying on for size – I found myself point-blank uninspired. Nothing was getting through for me. I had blocked out a solid hour to write, and I was sitting there typing one letter, and then backspacing it away. I was beginning to feel like Jack Nicholson in The Shining … all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no … you get it.
I decided that I needed to feel what the setting would be like. This story, if it ever sees the light of day, will revolve around a specific room. In order to inspire myself, I decided that my imagination needed a bit of a shake up.
I used Google image search to do just that. It led me from one room to another, and then I started adding adjectives: weird rooms … lost rooms … haunted rooms … and so on.
With the click of my mouse, just a few of these rooms, and the articles they were linked to, got my creative juices flowing. I flipped through some magazines, jotted down a few words (with a – gasp! – pencil) and I was off to the races.
Now, I can’t say it was the solution to all of my problems. I don’t know my characters well enough yet to even begin writing the story. I don’t even know their conflict yet. But it’s a start. Now that I have the setting clear in my head, and a few ideas for some external conflicts, I can throw some characters into the world and play with them.
PS: I updated my website a bit. Check it out! www.patrickg.ca – and share with your friends if you’re into it.