Thursday, April 21, 2011

Guest Blogger: How to Get Creative Juices Flowing

I recently made friends with Reece Hanzon, a sci-fi writer and a newly budding blogger. I was impressed by this article because while we often read the same things over and over in the blogosphere, I've never read anything about using music as a tool. What a great idea! Whenever you get the chance, make sure to visit his blog.

Everyone give it up for Reeeeeeeeece Hanzon!

How to Get Creative Juices Flowing

I know a lot of people who are aspiring writers (I think we tend to gravitate toward each other naturally), most of whom aren't anywhere near finishing a book. I get asked a lot how I managed to write an entire book, how I come up with ideas, etc. and I'm not even published yet. The nice thing is it always gets me thinking about my writing process and I invariably give them one of three responses:
  1. know your characters
  2. know your story
  3. listen to music
I've talked a little bit about characters already (incidentally, read David Powers King's recent post on evoking emotion; it's really good), and I'll talk about knowing your story when I have more time to dedicate to blogging. What I want to talk about right now is music.

I find that every time I start outlining and developing a new story idea, I subconsciously start putting together soundtracks for it as well. Don't get me wrong, I'm not planning out the future movie based on my idea will sound.


What I find myself doing, as I think about what's happening at certain points in the story and in certain scenes, is identifying songs that evoke the character's state of mind/emotion. I generally end up with a fairly eclectic selection of pieces (everything from rock to classical).

The most amazing thing is that as I begin to actually writing the story, listening to my "soundtrack" actually helps me get into the story more. And that's when writing really starts to be fun!

So, what do you do to help get your creative juices flowing?

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