Tuesday, May 12, 2009

When the Muse Hits

When do your story ideas hit you? Inspiration might strike as I’m working out at the gym, grocery shopping, or perusing a book store. If I don’t write my thoughts down, they’ll be forever lost. However, WRITING isn’t always possible, like when I’m driving or running. I needed to find a way to preserve my ideas without pulling over to the side of the road or carrying a notebook with me wherever I went. That’s when I invested in my handy, dandy digital voice recorder. What a wonderful gadget. As long as I remember to purge the information onto my computer and maintain battery life, I’m set.

The only time I don’t rely on my digital voice recorder is when I first wake up. I often have dreams that will eventually become stories. These vivid images are huge scenes and sometimes entire “movies” in my mind. Rather than recite these ideas, I prefer to jot down a few notes and then plot out the story. If ever I come to a point in my writing career where my editor is expecting another book and I’m at a loss for ideas, I’ll take out my list of plots or sort through my voice recorded message.

What do you do when you have a story idea?

20 comments:

  1. I think. And think and think. And I jot down sloppy notes.

    I've written on napkins in the car before. LOL!

    Most of the time, however, I just type them into the computer. Since I have a computer at work, I'm almost always by a keyboard when the mood strikes. Though I do think a lot in the car and the shower too...

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm still old fashioned. I grab for any piece of paper around (even if I'm driving) and get the thought down. I keep post it notes in the console of the car and a pen right there. Will have to check out the digital recorder device, altho I'm a bonafide technophobe.

    Karen
    http://www.karenfollowingthewhispers.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. I struggle with the same problem of how to collect and preserve my ideas. One of the best things I've done is to follow the advice of Julia Cameron who wrote The Artist's Way. She recommends journaling every day for three pages. Now I have to admit I've fallen off a bit and am not journaling every day, but I have so many notebooks now and it is amazing when I go back and re-read what I wrote that day--events and ideas are recalled to me that I had completely forgotten about. And sometimes I'm amazed at how upset I was about something or how angry at the moment and yet had no memory of it until reading the journal. Just writing this had made me revow to start trying to journal everyday. Of course, this still doesn't solve the problem of those momentary ideas that pop up out of the blue--but at least I have a record of what I was thinking about and feeling and pondering in past months and years and that is valuable.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hmmm, I don't know. I've been so focused on the stories I have lately that I haven't written anything down. In the past though I've written ideas down on notebook paper.
    So...I have a recorder too that my mom bought me. I used it and then couldn't figure out how to playback what I'd said. LOL!

    ReplyDelete
  5. i'm totally with you!!! I often have vivid dreams too. Otherwise I spend a lot of time "living out the book" in my head like a movie, especially when I'm falling asleep. Works great!!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I tried using a recorder but never seemed to have it when I needed it. Now I write on anything handy. If I'm driving I keep saying the thought over and over until I have an opportunity to jot it down. Not a fool proof method so I wouldn't recommend it!

    Jane Kennedy Sutton
    http://janekennedysutton.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  7. Lots of times I'll replay what I've thought in my head. Usually it's a particular scene. Then I'll develop it until I have the chance to write it down. A lot of times inspiration hits when I am in the car listening to music. Then I have to keep repeating to myself what I was thinking so I don't forget.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I really need a voice recorder. I usually come up with the ideas when I'm listening to music or watching people. Never anywhere specific. I can be washing dishes and think of something or be in the middle of a conversation with someone. I'll open a document in Word and I have a file just for book ideas.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm not a writer, but for my blog I get random idea bursts. I have a notebook that I pretty much carry everywhere and I keep all my ideas in there so that I can refer back.

    Very low-tech!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I usually get out of bed(cause they come at night) and go write it down. I have a recorder but haven't used it for that. Maybe I need to.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm more of a slow cooker writer. I don't get big, huge story ideas. I usually just get a scene in my head. And then another. And then maybe one more. It gets thrown into the crock pot of my head and I see if the various scenes can get linked together. Once I can see the beginning, middle and end, I start writing.

    When I first started writing I kept a little notebook in my purse and would pull it out all the time. I couldn't use a digital recorder because I don't like the sound of my own voice.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I write the ideas down on index cards or in my world book. If the idea is vivid enough, I'll write the scene and save it for later.

    Great question!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I keep a pen and paper handy wherever I go. Idea's strike at the darndest times!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi Lynnette,
    I try to talk it out with one of my trusty sounding boards. Using they can help me decide if the idea is worth the effort of writing it down for later use, and they always help me take it to the next level if it is. They're invaluable!

    ReplyDelete
  15. great post & great idea. I've tried the recorder before, but it's just not my style. I've found that -- although self-discipline is a must -- some things just can't be forced :)

    I have several layers of note-taking. Some ideas are only worthy of scribbling on napkins or spare scraps of paper or typed into a word document entitled "ideas". Others are penned in a special idea book...

    ReplyDelete
  16. I find I'm always jotting down ideas but need a way of organising them because my numerous notebooks are not that easy to navigate. I keep thinking of getting index cards. I'm also thinking of putting my character profiles on cards because when in the middle of writing and I go back to check details it takes me forever to trawl through my notes.

    I really do try to be organised. Try being the main word!

    Good to discover your blog!
    Kat :-)

    ReplyDelete
  17. [thx for dropping over, lynette :) ]

    i get lots of ideas all day, most i lose cuz i can't jot em down right then, since i'm otherwise occupied, like having a shower or making meals

    ...when i can, i do scribble on paper scraps [i have a voice recorder... somewhere :O lol]

    ReplyDelete
  18. I've been wanting to get a digital voice recorder for a while now. I think I'll look into it. Thanks for the post.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thank you, for the nice compliment on my blog....!

    If you like my animals you will absolutely love all of the books I have coming out between June 09 and 2010... Which if you visited my blog you already know about...

    Thanks for stopping by!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thanks for sharing. I always love to see how other writers work.

    Lynnette Labelle

    ReplyDelete