Tag Archives: ancient

Writers block and brain food

A debate today on twitter has been whether or not “Writers Block” exists or not?  My two cents on the matter is that writers block does not exist, I used to believe it did but then as I grew as a writer I learned that it was purely laziness on my part and the simple fact that I rarely thought outside of The Box.  I was also very nervous about how much of what I wanted to write has been done before and how little my stories represented “Original” ideas. 

The latter is laughable to me nowadays, because every idea in the present and the future has already been done somewhere, nothing is unique, but you need to understand that every human being is unique and therefore will have a unique take on a story already written.  For example, if a hundred writers had to write a story based on Alice in Wonderland every one of them would have a different stance to it.  Some would suggest that Alice was a drug addict hallucinating everything that had happened to her, another writer would believe that she had multiple personality disorder and that every other character who was not Alice was in fact her alter egos.  Another, would write the story as close to the original as possible, but even then there will be differences, some will make it dark humour, some will make it serious, some will throw in too much drama and one might make Alice a man from a rock band who got kidnapped and taken to an alien world and so on and so on. 

Now that has me thinking, wouldn’t that last idea be great?  Aliens kidnapping Alice Cooper, taking him to Wonderland another planet, but you see I can’t do that because of so many copyright laws, but it is a fun idea to play with in my mind or as a fan fic.

I can play with ideas like this all day long in any situation.  The problem for me is that I have too many ideas and I can struggle to decide which one to play with at the time.  I have got to the stage where I have selected five current novels I am working on and having to use random.org to help me choose which one to work on today?  I literally list and number my ideas like a maniac.  I even have a random scene list which is also numbered to help me fill in boring bits of my story or to prevent boring bits from occurring.  If I don’t know what I should do in the next scene, I use random.org and my lists to help me.  Each list is categorised.  It doesn’t sound very artistic, usually artists and writers are disorganised and free thinking, but I do organise my stuff like this a lot.  Granted I lose lists a lot, but I am getting better at keeping them in their place lately.

The idea of writers block is unfathomable to me in recent years.  I have learned if you constantly read and learn and if you make yourself look for art of what you are looking for, poetry etc, you will become inspired and if you do this daily as part of your routine, your mind will eventually throw things out at you.  Don’t ignore “brain farts” as I call them either – things such as…

I was reading a book about ancient Sumerian beliefs and I came across the title chapter called “The creation of man” I misread it as “The Cremation of man”.  This can spark interesting ideas if you don’t ignore it.

You’ve got to constantly stuff things into your brain daily, furiously, eventually your mind can switch into creator mode with little or no effort.  Try it.

Do this… 

Think of silver dragons and go to deviant art, flick through the pictures you first see in their search bar that says “Silver Dragons”, do this for 5 minutes, then go to pinterest and do that there again for around 5 minutes, just flick through pictures quickly, you don’t have to look at anything individually, just literally look them over, notice each different scene and do it at quick speed, you are not there for research, you are not there to steal, you are there to feed your mind and it is a hungry monster than doesn’t stop!  No idea is stupid, no idea is pathetic, if you get an idea whilst flowing like this, write it down because you’d be amazed how quickly these things pass through, it can be like being on a high speed train and you are trying to keep focused on a particular field you’ve just gone past!  Then search silver dragon poetry in google, or silver dragon songs, or silver dragon art in your search engines or snap chat or tumblr or anywhere that is likely to have a search option!

Do this with scenes or creatures or events you want to write about.  Writers block is just an excuse for lazy writers.  Don’t be a lazy writer.  If you don’t love playing with your mind and feeding it like this and you find writing hard work, then you can’t be a writer.  Because writers don’t work, they play and they do this every single day.  Some scenes are hard but the writing is never stressful or hard work because you love it and if you love something, it can’t ever be hard work!  Don’t keep chasing the money either by looking for things that are trending, because trends change exceedingly fast, as soon as you write about what is trending now you are already out of date by 30k words.  Play and write for you and read a lot of books; not just fiction books on the genres you like, read broadly, especially non-fiction because that can help you world build.

 

 

 

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Filed under Brain Drain & Dribbles

A monster calls (a non-review)

Last night I finished a book called “A Monster Calls” by Patrick Ness, I won’t say this is a review per se because it really isn’t – but I would say it is more of a little chat about the characters. 

I felt that this book was a huge tear jerker, it certainly got my eyes watering in parts – as for the monster, well to me the monsters in this book aren’t what you think they are, I think this book has a moral and that is “not everything is as it seems and don’t judge a book by its cover” you will misinterpret at the very beginning who the monster/monsters are, trust me, you will only find out in the ending chapters the truth of who the monster really is.

Because it is a twisty turning fabulous book, I won’t give you any spoilers other than what I have already said. 

Now, about the characters, the main character is a boy named Conor who is going through a huge amount of trauma at the age of thirteen – but I am more interested in mentioning the supposed monster that comes to visit him at 12:07 every night – why skip the main character?  Because he is just a human boy going through a bad time and I am more interested in the fantasy aspect of this book rather than the realism of it.  The so-called monster is nothing more than a big brash ancient yew tree that comes alive like an ent from middle-earth to basically have a chat with the young boy and tell him a few stories.  I loved this about the book because in the past ten years I have thought off and on about writing a novel about a tree that comes to life as well based on the Germanic folklore of the wood wives, the wood wives according to legend are beautiful female spirits of the forest who are also vampiric, basically vampiric faeries who turn into trees and bring trees to life amongst other things;  I am also interested in the yew tree because it is very similar to the avenging birch tree from the short movie “The Birch” which again I believe could have been inspired by the ancient Germanic legend, the wood wives. 

So if avenging wrathful trees are your thing, you know what to look out for.  I got this book from the library but I have bought a copy along with the DVD from Ebay because I just find it absolutely fabulous!  The movie stars Liam Neeson and Sigourney Weaver.

 

 

 

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You’ve crossed someone as old as sin

As the witches cast their spells under moonlight igniting Hell

As the bones of the ancients tremble awake

There are signs in you – of a grave mistake

You’ve crossed someone as old as sin

And now your suffering will start to spin

You won’t know when it will strike

But when it does, it does with a bite

And you will falter under this spell

As wicked things, drag you to Hell

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Chivalry by Neil Gaiman

Chivalry by Neil Gaiman
The first short story from the Neil Gaiman anthology “Smoke and Mirrors”, “chivalry” was enchanting in that it bought medieval fairy-tale to the modern world and included as a main character a person who is rarely considered for a main protagonist role in literature – an old lady browsing the shelves of a charity shop for some hidden gem; and what she found was a chalice that had unknowingly to her special links to the knights of the round table. A clever tale of bartering and cunning, knights and old ladies, wishes coming true and a taste of real history all rolled into one, made this story, for me, delightful.

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