Saturday, June 11, 2016

What I do while washing the dishes Ep. 1

     My place does not have a dishwasher. This means that dishes can take twenty to thirty minutes to complete. That leaves me some time to think as I rinse away leftover ketchup off brightly coloured utensils. Occasionally I'll let the music play but then I'm likely to get distracted by dance parties with the little one. The trick is to find something engaging but allows me to focus on the task at hand. Podcasts are great. However taking notes with dishgloves on is a whole other story.

     Since getting serious about writing I started listening to Writing Excuses. This is a brilliant podcast hosted by Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowal, Howard Tayler and Dan Wells. All of these folks have done some great stuff and is worth checking out. The current recommendation is to start at Season 10. Which works as a master class in writing. It even comes complete with assignments. I had started at the beginning but have now jumped ahead to Season 10.

     What did I pick up from episode 10.1? It was all about that age old cliche question that authors get asked, "Where do you get your ideas?"

    The different type of ideas discussed where the following,

    -"Gee Whiz" Ideas; The idea that hits you over your head and demands your attention. (Thank-you Mary Robinette Kowal for putting it into words.) Normally the phrase "Wouldn't it be cool if?" is uttered. I am familiar with this form of idea generation. I was watching a documentary on bees and the undertaker bee was mentioned. This is the  bee dedicated to removing the dead from the hive. From that I got wouldn't it be cool if there were a space station that handled it's operations like a beehive. Complete with undertaker bee. This idea fits in with a story I'm currently working on. There are also quite a few "What if's" type ideas that run through my head.

     -Tone ideas; This is one that I hadn't considered. The idea is best described by the podcast example. A High Fantasy Heist novel. That would be an apt description of Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson. This form of idea I feel would be a great way to help build a structure. For me if the appropriate tone idea came along I feel it could really help me flesh out a story.

    -Exploring Themes; This one is based on media consumption. It's seeing, reading or experiencing something and then seeing what more can you do? What else can you extrapolate?

    The exercise was to explore some new ways to gain ideas. Head over to the website to look and see what they suggest. I'm going to give it a crack and see what comes to mind.

    Happy writing.

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