Tuesday, July 1, 2014

To Say Nothing of Inspiration

           So. . .
           Oh, right I came here to say something.

           I've been writing. (it feels good to say that.) Usually I try to write scenes in the order they happen. Buuut, you know, sometimes, I just cannot get a certain scene out because:

           The inspiration is just not there. Zero inspirationo.

           This particular scene was actually a story that someone was telling. A vital legend that shaped some of the superstitions of the Vorban people.

           (Maybe that's weird. A story within a story. Some people have laughed at that. I kind of ignore them. . .)

           Though I didn't know how to write this scene, I did have a mental check list of things that I wanted it to include:

- Shrels (huge spidery beasts, because nothing is scarier than spiders)

- children's nightmares

- a blacksmith's hammer ringing all night

- the silence when it is not ringing

- a narrator driven mad by the Shrels

           How all of this was going to fit together? *shrugs* I hadn't a clue. But after skipping around it for weeks, I finally sat down and decided this:

 If this is supposed to be a weird, creepy-ish kind of scene/story, maybe doing something weird or different will help me out.

          What were these things I broken routine with?

wear hat
wear necklace with definition of "intrepid" pendant
open a new document
mess with the size and style of the font
turn off lights in room
write whatever comes to mind, immediately
no editing

           The product came out something like this:

the story of the Shrels                    

nightmares stop
in children’s sleep
under the metal watchmen’s keep

but dare he stop
his metalwork
and lay his hammer down to shirk

the air so still
calm and clearer
is only then when they draw nearer

from beyond the
waters green
is only then you hear their scream

for the Shrel
its hunt is best
in the silence of its prey’s rest

it waits intently
for the quiet
so in their nightmares it may slip

awake again
they never will
but only to the living chill

of the bloodless
empty shells
whose life has left with the Shrels

lonely, longing
and wandering
mad from too much pondering

Of the Shrels
so dark and shrieking
little children do not go seeking,

keep far from
thine enemies,
seek not monsters such as these

           I changed the font so you could actually read it. I orginally wasn't going for a poem. But from this I got a basic story going in my head and continued to write the tale of a wandering man who had encountered the Shrels at a very young age. It's not supposed to be completely coherent because he is mad after all. But at the same time, he's kind of long-winded. So much so, I question if the story is creepy and weird like it's supposed to be, or if it's just lame and weird. :P

           But it's been written! Finally.

           So what do you do when the inspiration gears just lock up? Do you have a box of strange antics to restore to? Do you try something different in your routine? Or do you just plod on like the best of the good faithful writers?


  1. When I'm struggling with a scene, the first thing I do is change the music I'm listening to. A lot of times I just need to hear something that fits with the scene's mood, and that'll jolt me out of my rut. I've also been known to go sit in a dark closet until I've unspooled the whole scene in my head so I know what happens next. Back when I only had one kid, I liked to pop him into the stroller and go on a walk to loosen the kinks in my imagination -- that one worked SO well! If I'm stuck on a character-related problem, I like to write up a journal entry by one of the characters involved to see what's going on in their heads that they're not telling anyone about -- that one works really well for almost all stuckages, but takes more time too. Glad you found something that worked for you!

    1. I've tried to listen to music while writing, but I usually end up totally ignoring the music. :P
      I really like that idea about writing a journal entry. It sounds very effective and fun. I will definitely have to try it some time.

    2. Oh yes, once I slip into my writing, I ignore the music too. In fact, I think it helps me concentrate on my writing by giving me something to work against. But for those first few minutes as I'm slipping into writing, it can be so helpful to get me in the proper frame of mind. And whenever I surface from my writing, having it there to help me slide back in is great.

      The journal entry thing is awesome. I've never done it and not had at least two good ideas/answers surface.

  2. I think that poem is very effective, it is creepy and has a feel of folklore about it.

    1. Thank you. :) That is exactly what I was going for.

  3. I'm not a writer, but I can totally imagine how difficult it must be! Just from reviewing, I totally get the feeling of writer's block, and I can't imagine what it must be like for authors to have to deal with that so frequently!

    Nonetheless, I think you did a pheonominal job with your poem! It's absolutely beautiful, and it gives off an aura that is both creepy and captivating; which I think fits it perfectly. Thanks for sharing! <3

    ~ Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

    1. It's seems every kind of writing comes with writer's block at times. :)
      Thank you! That is very encouraging. :)

  4. Nice writing block cures. And you get a poem....double win type thing

  5. oooooh...this was cool! I really like the 4th line from the bottom...gives me chills. Keep it up!! Poetry rocks! :)

  6. Ohhhh, I love that! Yes, I love that very much.

    And who says a story within a story is weird? Yes, ignore them, deary. Very good. I very much enjoy stories within stories!

    Hmm... I think most commonly, when I'm stuck, I open a new Blogger post and just type. Whether I'm answering a linkup or just brainstorm on something. I'll try to ask myself questions, talk to my characters. (They're very helpful, by the way. When they do talk.) I like your solution, quite interesting. Indeed, it sounds fun.

    Now it sounds as if I've gone mad. Well, that happens. It just means I'm about to get some good writing done ;)

    I really very muchly enjoyed this post! Completely and entirely.
    Too many words. I shall stop.


    1. A huge brainstorm? I love those! One thing leads to another and by the end you have something if not all of what you needed. I have a bad habit of not using punctuation though during brainstorms because my thoughts are flowing too fast. But it is a really good way to just get it all down.

    2. Ikr! It's so awesome how you start with one stupid question and end up knowing more than you ever thought you would.

      Yes, it is. And punctuation definitely hinders things... I find it extremely hard to stop bothering with it and making sure my grammar and words are perfect and all, but once I get myself to stop worrying about it all, I definitely get more done. And then when I'm finished I get to have fun editing it. So it's kind of a win-win. When I can do it. lol


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