Okay, you’re sitting in front of your computer, fingers poised at the keyboard. Ready.
Hmmmm, maybe you could write about your trip to the grocery store. Or maybe driving your kids to school? I do these things all the time. Do I find it fun and entertaining walking down the isles at the store, or hollering at my children to stop fighting? No. But, you don’t have any ideas to write about other than what your life is filled with. What if you think your life is boring?
What if. That’s a good way to start. Pose the question, ‘What if…’
Have some fun with this-
- You slept in late and things didn’t go as usual- a series of unfortunate or timely events lead to something catastrophic or funny, like running out of gas on the highway and meeting an interesting character (predatory or romantic *cute-meet*)
- While walking through your boring life, something amazing happened to you, like you get hit by a car and now you can hear the thoughts of people around you
- Your birth control malfunctions and surprise (okay, sorry- you may not be into horror stories)
- You made different choices in your life and they lead you somewhere else- think dancer on Broadway, climbing Everest or kayaking through South America
There is another tip you have probably heard before. Write what you know. If you are a nurse, you can probably write a very convincing story about a doctor traveling to Malaysia to help children with deformities. If you are a mother, you could probably create an effective story about World War II or living in a psych ward.
If you enjoy writing you may not struggle with getting ideas out. But even the best writers have their moments (at least that’s what I tell myself).
“I write one page of masterpiece to ninety-one pages of shit,” Hemingway confided to F. Scott Fitzgerald in 1934. “I try to put the shit in the wastebasket.”
When I came up with my idea for Fledgling, I drew from my own life. I wanted to create a heroine that my daughter could look up to. But I wanted it to be someone like her, a girl born with heart defects. The character took on a life of her own, and now the world I created is bubbling up, eager to make its way to paper.
Writing above all, is what’s important. You can’t improve or find the diamond in the rough if you don’t write. Everyone has a masterpiece within them- the challenge is getting it out.