Sunday, June 21, 2015

Where Do You Get Your Ideas?" by Fred White

June's craft book is a writer's guide to transforming ideas into stories.

I often have such wonderful ideas for a story, but then they peter out. I find that it might make a great scene, but won't sustain a whole novel.
So how does a writer take an idea and spin it into a full fledged story? Fred White tells you how in his book "Where Do You Get Your Ideas". Each chapter has assignments for you to complete.
What you will need is one notebook binder, he suggests 1 1/4" which will hold about four hundred pages and one pocket size note pad.
The binder is so you can easily rearrange or remove pages and the pocket note pad is of course to keep notes when traveling or just easier to carry around.
I'm not going to tell you where to look for ideas, Fred gives examples of this. I'm going to concentrate more on what to do with those ideas. That's where I struggle.

One of the writing tips from Chris McCloskey's interview is take a walk-write what you see, hear, smell, feel and taste (if you get a chance to eat.)
Fred makes this suggestion too. Take a walk in an unfamiliar area. You're collecting raw data.
He also gives a great idea if you are housebound-clean a closet! What memories come to mind as you clean and organize. I love this tip as I have a lot of organizing to do.
For characters he suggests starting with who you know: What are some of there personality quirks? How can you use this to develop a character? Write it down in your note book.
This has been the most helpful character development advice I have ever been given. I shy away from writing anything about people I know because I don't want to be in a law suit. But this is different. You're writing down things about them. Are they sad? What makes them sad? You make this part up. Are they quirky? Can you add this to someone else's personality trait and make a hodge podge? I'm friends with quite a few quirky people, I'm not naming any names, you know who you are. :)

I could go on and on, but this book is mainly on how to keep and use a writer's note book or journal.
Just so you know, I have two of these books and will be giving one of them away this month.
To be eligible to win please leave a comment and you must reside in the United States.
Let me know how you use your writer's journal.
What's the best advice you have been given?
Until next week,


Joyce Lansky said...

I don't have a writers journal, but I keep paper next to my bed and will sometimes jot down ideas late at night.

When having writer's block, insert water. Taking a shower or lap swimming seems to help me.

Rebecca Turney said...

It is not gathering ideas...I see them all around...but having recall at the right time...ah, That Is the trick. Fred's loose leaf notebook idea might be the answer to that! And as to quirky characters, my phone contacts list is full of them!
Thanks for the boost today.