Visual & Written Ditties For Writer's Inspiration

Discussion in 'Reading & Writing' started by Lara Moss, Feb 24, 2016.

  1. Tom Locke

    Tom Locke Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2015
    Messages:
    1,223
    Likes Received:
    2,261
    Undeniably, we tortured artists need the right combination of fire and ice in our veins.
     
    #26
    Joe Riley likes this.
  2. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    7,453
    Likes Received:
    9,813
    I am in a restaurant right now and on my iPhone, which is not my favorite instrument for forum discussions, so I haven't checked to see if he still does that, but one of my favorite authors -- Orson Scott Card -- had a website and forum where he would help new writers critique and improve their writing. I know that he even co-authored and published at least a couple of books with writers from his forum.

    If I were on my computer, I would look it up -- his forum name is from one of his books -- something like Halftrack River, but I don't think the "Halftrack" part is right, exactly; something like that, anyhow. I haven't been there in a while.
     
    #27
    Lara Moss likes this.
  3. Lara Moss

    Lara Moss Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2015
    Messages:
    2,666
    Likes Received:
    5,160
    ^ Ken, I just looked it up for you. it was Hatrack River" and here's the link: http://www.hatrack.com

    Seasons come and seasons go. They are always a good source of inspiration.
    Our winter is almost over…last chance for winter weather inspirations

    “I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says "Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.”
    Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass

    10923604_834133746625020_3449674376375146850_n.jpg
     
    #28
  4. Bill Boggs

    Bill Boggs Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    May 13, 2015
    Messages:
    1,231
    Likes Received:
    1,436
    That quote in and of itself is inspiration. Going to check this site out. I'm a dull sort of gent and a good dose of this reference would be, I'm sure, good for what ails me. Thanks.
     
    #29
  5. Tom Locke

    Tom Locke Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2015
    Messages:
    1,223
    Likes Received:
    2,261
    I'm notorious for having lots of bits of paper lying around with notes scribbled on them. I'll use anything that is on hand, be it a notepad, post-it note, bus ticket or my frequent haven, the margin of a newspaper. It's not unknown for me to stop in the street to scrawl something on a bit of paper. The house is littered with such rubbish.
     
    #30
    Terry Page, Lara Moss and Joe Riley like this.
  6. Lara Moss

    Lara Moss Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2015
    Messages:
    2,666
    Likes Received:
    5,160
    I do that too, Tom. Then the doorbell rings and I quickly shovel it all into a folder for a rainy day :rolleyes:.
    The distraction breaks my creative flow and procrastination sets in
    and excuses ;)
    These experiments below I found on Pinterest:

    *****************************************************************************

    Try these experiments when you get a writer's block…

    7580253c3a83f884ec1f89f0e7172207.png
     
    #31
    Von Jones, Tom Locke and Joe Riley like this.
  7. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2015
    Messages:
    5,897
    Likes Received:
    9,032
    lol1.gif
     
    #32
    Lara Moss likes this.
  8. Tom Locke

    Tom Locke Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2015
    Messages:
    1,223
    Likes Received:
    2,261
    My variation on number two: introduce a nice character to hack off your obnoxious protagonist.
     
    #33
    Lara Moss likes this.
  9. Lara Moss

    Lara Moss Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2015
    Messages:
    2,666
    Likes Received:
    5,160
    With this many choices in the english language, we have no excuse not to write :)
    250_Went.png
     
    #34
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2016
    Tom Locke and Joe Riley like this.
  10. Tom Locke

    Tom Locke Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2015
    Messages:
    1,223
    Likes Received:
    2,261
    As long as we avoid the hideous misuse of the verb to go, as seems to be horribly popular in Scotland, thus:

    "You should have went that way."
     
    #35
    Joe Riley and Lara Moss like this.
  11. Lara Moss

    Lara Moss Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2015
    Messages:
    2,666
    Likes Received:
    5,160
    Tom, good example of a dreadful misuse of the verb to go, but, on the other hand, there is also this to consider…

    "If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it. Or if proper usage gets in the way, it may have to go.
    I can't allow what we learned in english composition to disrupt the sound and rhythm of the narrative."
    ~ Elmore Leonard
     
    #36
    Tom Locke and Joe Riley like this.
  12. Tom Locke

    Tom Locke Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2015
    Messages:
    1,223
    Likes Received:
    2,261
    I write dialogue in the way that people speak. One result of this is that the one person in my novel that speaks English 'correctly' is a young Polish woman. Because she has learned English in a formal and structured way, she doesn't use idioms and dialect words in the way my Scottish characters do.
     
    #37
    Joe Riley and Lara Moss like this.
  13. Lara Moss

    Lara Moss Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2015
    Messages:
    2,666
    Likes Received:
    5,160
    I like that idea, Tom. Sounds like a fascinating contrast to your other characters. Gore Vidal said that each writer is born with a repertory company in his head. He said Shakespeare had about 20 and Vidal had about 10. He said as we get older we become more skillful at casting them.

    Unknown.jpeg shakespeare-modern-bard-post-330x220.jpg images.jpeg
    shakespeare_2699766k.jpg
     
    #38
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2016
    Tom Locke and Joe Riley like this.
  14. Tom Locke

    Tom Locke Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2015
    Messages:
    1,223
    Likes Received:
    2,261
    In a way, that Polish girl is my favourite character because she, of all my main figures, is the only one that I made up. The others are closely based on real people, so they were easy to portray. With her, I had to imagine what she looked like, how she spoke, how she acted and all other parts of her nature.
     
    #39
    Lara Moss and Joe Riley like this.
  15. Lara Moss

    Lara Moss Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2015
    Messages:
    2,666
    Likes Received:
    5,160
    Sounds interesting. What is the theme or plot of your book?
     
    #40
    Tom Locke likes this.
  16. Tom Locke

    Tom Locke Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2015
    Messages:
    1,223
    Likes Received:
    2,261
    It's based in Edinburgh and the chief protagonist is based on an old boss I had. He is firmly in the antihero camp. The man is a complete philistine whose only interests in life are football, golf and himself, though not necessarily in that order. Most of the office scenes are things that really happened, or at least pretty close, though I've invented all of the dodgier stuff outside the office environment.

    One thing I'm very confident of is that the original will never read the book because he really is such a philistine that he views people that read books as sad souls with no life.
     
    #41
    Lara Moss likes this.
  17. Lara Moss

    Lara Moss Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2015
    Messages:
    2,666
    Likes Received:
    5,160
    Sounds like a good book, Tom! I like how you based it on actual events with a mix of imagination .
     
    #42
    Tom Locke likes this.
  18. Tom Locke

    Tom Locke Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2015
    Messages:
    1,223
    Likes Received:
    2,261
    My publisher has put the book in the "humour" category. This is good, because that was my intention, but obviously I leave that for others to decide. I'm not sure what would be worse - people not laughing at a humorous novel or people laughing at a novel that's meant to be serious.
     
    #43
    Lara Moss likes this.
  19. Lara Moss

    Lara Moss Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2015
    Messages:
    2,666
    Likes Received:
    5,160
    Every character worth writing about has to be a little crazy. Crazy humorous is more rooted in my comfort zone than crazy scary or crazy insane. The world is over saturated with that.

    2520e7c0e86e34e1f04f37d533ffb46f.jpg
     
    #44
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2016
    Karen McKenzie and Tom Locke like this.
  20. Tom Locke

    Tom Locke Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2015
    Messages:
    1,223
    Likes Received:
    2,261
    My novel was a form of revenge fiction. I shouldn't give away what I did with my target or I'll betray the plot.

    Absurd and foolish characters are easy because there are lots of absurd and foolish people around. You don't really need to exaggerate them much. It's more a case of foregrounding the stupidity. The trick, I think, is to leave them very much as they are and let them blunder into new situations.
     
    #45
    Joe Riley and Lara Moss like this.
  21. Lara Moss

    Lara Moss Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2015
    Messages:
    2,666
    Likes Received:
    5,160
    So true Tom. I'm inspired when I write poetry & paint (I don't write novels) by colorful real-life characters sometimes. Another place I find inspiration is famous literary lines that I can ponder on for awhile until my imagination takes flight and morphs into my own creation. Here are some famous line examples of what I mean:

    1. "under the scrutinizing prism of time" - Robert Penn ("Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce")

    2. "which are you drinking, the water or the wave" - John Fowles ("The Magus")

    3. "semper flamma flummo proxima" - Plautus (means: the fire is always near the smoke)

    4. "idealism is what precedes experience" - David T. Wolfe (D.Wolfe should have left out "is what")
     
    #46
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2016
    Tom Locke likes this.
  22. Tom Locke

    Tom Locke Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2015
    Messages:
    1,223
    Likes Received:
    2,261
    Somebody told me recently that I was a sharp observer. I thought that was interesting because that's what I try to do in my writing. I take the ordinary, everyday things and try to make something different out of them. I'm fairly quick to notice the personality traits of people that I encounter. The mundane can suddenly become less so. I think that the trick is to exaggerate, but no excessively so. You need to keep both people and situations plausible.
     
    #47
    Joe Riley and Lara Moss like this.
  23. Lara Moss

    Lara Moss Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2015
    Messages:
    2,666
    Likes Received:
    5,160
    I like that, Tom. Do you ever use metaphors in your writing? I love love love metaphors…good ones that is. Truman Capote, "Failure is the condiment that gives success it's flavor". Or Jennifer Donnelly, "Hope is the crystal meth of emotions; it hooks you fast and kills you hard". Of course some metaphors can be really corny or overused.

    Another thing I like is personification; giving physical or human characteristics to ideas, thoughts or inanimate objects…but I don't like talking animals! :D

    A very all known example is William Wordsworth's,
    "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud". These parts:

    I WANDERED lonely as a cloud
    That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
    When all at once I saw a crowd,
    A host, of golden daffodils;

    Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
    Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
    Ten thousand (daisies) saw I at a glance,
    Tossing their heads in spritely dance.

    The waves beside them danced. ….
    And then my heart with pleasure fills,
    And dances with the daffodils.
     
    #48
    Tom Locke likes this.
  24. Tom Locke

    Tom Locke Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2015
    Messages:
    1,223
    Likes Received:
    2,261
    I like a metaphor, but because I try to make people laugh, I use similes quite a lot. A simile is a bit like a metaphor's rather pushy cousin; a bit more upfront and in-your-face. I think that similes convey the image of something absurd rather more than a metaphor. I can give an example from my own novel, if I may be allowed such self-indulgence.

    Vince, possibly seeking some inspiration from Gary Player, was dressed all in black. His paunch, and the fact the he leant forward slightly as he walked, gave him a rather waddling gait. He looked, Sean thought, somewhat like a large black duck that was attempting to do an impression of a penguin.

    Here, I'm trying to convey some of Vince's pomposity and just how ridiculous he is. I think the simile adds to the absurdity of the character.
     
    #49
  25. Lara Moss

    Lara Moss Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2015
    Messages:
    2,666
    Likes Received:
    5,160
    I take it Vince was your former boss you spoke of earlier when describing your theme?
    Sounds like you succeeded in portraying him as ridiculous :D:D:D.

    I always differentiate simile from metaphor by looking for "as" or "like" in the sentence. Similes always have "as" or "like". So you were correct in saying Sean's comment was a simile. I smiled at the humorous absurdity so high5

    4c0d88551a94862a2e862b654bd7d12f.jpg.gif
     
    #50
    Tom Locke likes this.

Share This Page