Wednesday, March 6, 2013

IWSG...Finally


The first Wednesday of each month is one of my favorites. I can hop around the blogosphere and read about the doubts and fears of writers just like me, and at the same time soak in all the support and encouragement this writing community gives so freely. Funny thing is, I've been way too insecure to join--which probably means I really need to be here. So I finally did it. My name is Ilima Todd, and I am an insecure writer. :)

When I get an idea for a book, I let it simmer for months. The characters, plot, setting, conflict, etc. slowly build in my head until I finally sit down and plot it all out. Then I draft it fairly quickly (because at this point I am OBSESSED with the story), revise for a while, then tada: shiny new book. Problem is, I'm not one of those writers drowning in ideas they'll never get to write--and right now, I'm running on empty. I've got a really cool premise for a book with no plot yet. Another idea way outside of the YA realm that I don't feel comfortable tackling right now. And a sequel that for logistics reasons, can't be written yet. Yeah. *twiddles thumbs* What now?

One of my favorite quotes is attributed to Jack London:

You can't wait for inspiration. 
You have to go after it with a club.

So my question is, where do you go to club down your ideas, because this insecure writer needs help. :)

29 comments:

Suzanne Furness said...

Welcome to IWSG. It certainly is a great place to hang out. I'm not sure I have any pearls of wisdom on where to find inspiration as with me it seems to hit me out the blue. Maybe absorb yourself in reading, people watching and a bit of gossip for a while and see if that sparks something wonderful.

Good luck and let us know how you go :)

T. Drecker said...

Lol! Sounds like weren't two sides of the coin. I have trouble writing the stuff down in a timely fashion. Sometimes because of family and life, and sometimes just because I'm not the speediest ;) I blow some idea dust in your direction! (Seriously, I have no doubt that it'll come to you!)

Empty Nest Insider said...

Great Jack London quote! Maybe you can go "clubbing" instead to take the pressure off for a little while. The change of scenery may do you good, and that way no one gets hurt. Sorry, that's the best I could come up with at this time of night.

Julie

Yvonne at Poetry from the Heart said...

Good to see you here, hope you enjoy the group.

Yvonne,

Carissa Taylor said...

Hopping over from IWSG! I've been a lurker for awhile too =)

I tend to be a theme or setting inspired writer ... so most of my story inspiration comes when reading non-fiction actually ... a news article, or academic journal piece. Of course this could also be because this is all I do all day as a student - haha! A slightly more fun way I've gotten story inspiration is by bopping around on Pinterest!

I also concur: you can never watch too much Firefly

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I'm lucky that I'm the opposite. The ideas for new stories come to me very quickly. Some stories will never see the light of day since a stronger story takes their place. I hope I never get to the point where I have no idea what to write next. That would be hard.

CBame13 said...

I mostly just sit down and fart out pages of terrible prompts until a few end up being decent. Constantly running through all of the obvious cliched ideas that run through my head any time I try to come up with a new book idea helps clear them out and leave room for (theoretically) unique ideas.

farawayeyes said...

Hi Ilima, nice to meet you.

Ideas - I like to people watch and make up stories abut what they are doing, where they are going, and why they are here. Some of the actually get put down on paper.

Chemist Ken said...

I also have to stew on an idea for a long time before I'm ready to put anything on paper. I find if I start writing too quickly, nothing much comes of it. Welcome to the IWSG!

Julie said...

I'm one of the others, who have more ideas than I know what to do with, but something that helped me was using a prompt (like your London quote) and writing a three-page story about it. I have a couple hundred of them (inspired by quotes and proverbs) that really help me whenever the well gets dry. Besides, writing just to see what happens takes the pressure off of each idea having to be a full-length book. :)

jaybird said...

Hey girl! It took me FOREVER to join IWSG because I am such a neurotic writerly hot mess. SO glad you are here. Big hugs and welcome aboard.

I know for a fact your writing and ideas are always original and nothing short of amazeballs! I'm sure that inspiration bug will be biting you again soon, and before you know it, you'll be staying up all night, typing like an obsessed crazy woman!! And, I, for one, look forward to reading whatever it is you come up with next!! xo

Mark Means said...

Welcome aboard the crazy train that is the IWSG :)

-Not- having a glut of ideas is something you're not alone in. A lot of us suffer from that very same thing but, once the spark hits, it seems to hit like lightning...we just have to catch that lightning in the bottle :)

J. A. Bennett said...

Yay! So glad you joined in the IWSG awesomeness! What I normally do is use lots of different plotting devices (save the cat - 8 sequence http://thescriptlab.com/screenwriting/structure/the-sequence/45-the-eight-sequences and 10 scene http://www.kkitts.net/downloads/files/TenScenePlot.pdf)

I play around with all three read up n each one until something sticks. I do character bios (usually with this http://www.manoneileen.com/introductiontomcs/) and then I start drafting. Loads of fun! Good luck!

Elsie Amata said...

Welcome to IWSG! I've only been around for three months so I'm a newbie too =)

As for ideas, I tend to walk on the beach or sit at the lake when it's to cold for the beach. If it's totally yucky out, I have a great little dish with shells and sand that I gaze at and daydream to let my mind wander. I recently started yoga and have had success there too.

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

Oh, wow, you know we're SO much alike? I do the exact same thing. Let things simmer, and it takes me forever and ever to come up with a usable idea I can get excited about. We're twins!

I should join this group, huh?

Jess Schira said...

I have found that if I start writing as soon as I get an idea, even when there's no plot, after a few days my brain has mulled the situation over and the plot kind of falls into place.

Kathryn Purdie said...

I've been thinking about joining this group for awhile now too, but, like you, I'm too insecure! Haha. Story ideas...hmmm...I've done mostly retellings, which is nice because I have something to work with from the start. I think you should write down ANY idea you have...even if it's just the kernal of an idea, and that will help your brain be active in the mode of searching for ideas. My latest idea has come from months of meshing many ideas together, and using little bits I wrote down along the way. That pretty much sounds like your process, so maybe I'm not much help here!

Robin said...

So glad you joined the club. I've learned so much doing IWSG. Inspiration-I wish I had a proven method for finding these. They just hit me at random times, bowl me over occasionally. I've heard news stories are a good place to look, but I haven't had success there yet.

You've got many stories inside you, Ilima. Have a touch a patience, enjoy the breather, and the idea will come to you. You are one amazing, insecure writer!

Nancy LaRonda Johnson said...

My go to for ideas are writing prompts! My first and second book ideas have come from flash fiction pieces that started as writing prompts. And sometimes subplot ideas come about the same way.

Nicole said...

Um, sometimes the shower. ;) Seriously, inspiration hits in funny places. Reading is a great escape and idea generator too.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Sure glad you decided to join us, Ilima. We need you! I find inspiration in good books, good films, songs, by eavesdropping, reading blogs, baking cookies, meeting like-minded writers like yourself. Happy IWSG!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Welcome to the IWSG!
We plot, write, and revise the same way. And I share your struggle for ideas. I envy those with multiple manuscripts in progress. I'm lucky to have one decent idea at a time.

Kaye Draper said...

Some things that generate ideas for me (and may or may not do anything for you :) - looking at art/ photos on-line, dreams, people watching, music, and doing something else. If I'm "stuck" I find that I just need to distract myself for a while and the ideas will come back- walking in the woods, playing with my daughter or pet, watching cheesy anime...
Maybe you just need a mini break?

Welcome to IWSG:)

Melissa said...

I was surprised to see your name at the bottom! of the list. Good for you for hopping on the wagon. LOL You'll love it here.

IWSG #135 until Alex culls the list again

Carrie-Anne said...

I think I was a born to be a writer, since I've been doing it since I was four years old, and characters and storylines have always just come to me. I often fill in the blanks and develop new secondary characters and subplots in my head while I'm writing the book or working on another one. Since I predominantly write family/town sagas, storylines for different characters and generations just naturally develop over time.

Sheena-kay Graham said...

I go to two main places: my room and my imagination. Except in my head ideas can hit back.

Nancy Reece said...

Unfortunately I have too many ideas and not enough time! But right now I am stuck on how to start my next novel. I have the middle and the end, but the beginning is a little murky. My favorite place to think is outside with my horses. Their quiet support give me the peace I need to explore my mind. (Which is a dangerous place to stay for too long!)

Unknown said...

AW! That quote is brilliant!!! I love it!

Suzi said...

Good to see you taking the plunge with IWSG. I still have not.

Unfortunately I have no suggestions on where to send you for ideas. Mine just pop in where-ever and whenever. Songs have been a great way to get story ideas. Sometimes it's popped out of a meaningful song.

Are you on Pinterest? I just got going (hooked) on that, and I can see how the pictures can inspire.