The writing process–Starting the idea generation cycle for the next series of stories.
Today was the first day working on the next series of fiction writings. It basically involved immersing myself in the subject during what I call the “sponge phase” of the idea generation cycle.
The sponge phase involves filling your head with as much information as possible until you reach the point of sensory overload. For all of you athletes, it’s kind of like when you are loading up on carbs before a marathon. In the case of idea generation, you are loading up on information, images, writing styles and experiences that will help push you through the story writing process.
When you’re training for sports, you don’t want to fill you body with junk. Same goes for the creative process. Here are some of the things I do during my media diet:
- Limit Facebook and other social media use.
- I’m already filling my head with tons of things–and I dont really need to be exposed to all the extra stuff facebook pushes out. Plus, it’s a huge time suck.
- Limit my personal interaction to people that are positive influences.
- The creative process is like giving birth, and you don’t want your baby to be exposed to negative things. Some people also can be a drain, stressing me out or weighing me down.
- Limit movies, novels or short stories to things that I’ve already read, focusing on those works that resonate with the story I want to tell.
- It comes down to too much stimulation. It also helps put you in the right state of mind or mood to match your story.
- If you’ve already read/seen the work, you know what to expect. I don’t like outside influences affecting my writing in unexpected ways <—This goes for all of the above.
The last novel was very dark and semi-autobiographical. It was also kind of avante garde. This new series of short stories (or maybe a novel) goes back to being true fiction based on several ideas I’ve had over the last few years during my travels.
As most of my faithful readers know, I had 4 years of journals and photos stolen while I was living in Berlin. I can’t look at pictures, drawings or writings from those times. All I have are memories:
- Iceland: wall of snow advancing across a sunny field from purple mountains; fairy villages in a tree stump and stones; glaciers
- Camping in a cabin in a valley outside of Heidelberg with Jasmine. Hiking to the city through the forest in the morning and then back to the cabin at night. Trees had eyes. Spawning white bugs swarming us. Castles, fountains, fairies, flowers.
- Watching shooting stars from high atop a mountain in North Carolina
- Dancing naked in a summer storm
As much as I’d like to go back to those places and immerse myself, I can’t right now. Thankfully, the memories help recall parts of stories that I wrote at the time.
Here are some snapshots of what I’m filling my head with I’ve also been watching different movie versions of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Alice in Wonderland (not the new one). Can you guess what I’m writing about?