Sunday, March 20, 2011

Know How You Think. Know What You Like. Use Them.

            As a writer, it’s important to understand how you think.  If you know your thought process and what stimulates your creativity, the easier it is to harness inspiration and generate ideas.  That’s why it’s also good to know what you like in general.  Sometimes the smallest thing you like can be used, whether as something in your story, or as the start of inspiration for it.
            Since this has been a very rough week for me (in more ways than one), I tried over the last couple of days to rediscover little things I like and trace my way back over the way I think; I won’t spend time on my thought process because it’s different for everyone and, as a pessimistic introvert, mine’s really different from most.
            As for the little things…
            Perfume bottles have made an appearance in my stories.  Favorite foods, favorite places (such as Big Sur and Grand Tetons), even favorite books—such as Treasure Island—have made it in, whether altered slightly so the feel of a location is there, to having the book on a coffee table in a scene.  My white-and-black cat, Cassiopeia, made a cameo.  I like plants—especially orchids—animals—especially horses, cats, and dragons—and semiprecious stones like hematite, tiger’s eye, seraphenite, and moss agate.  I like gel pens in multiple colors, and to use a variety of fonts in a variety of colors on a variety of colored backgrounds, depending on the story I’m writing and the mood I’m in.  I like the delicate detail of dollhouses and their furniture.  I love the contained, fragile world aquariums contain.  I love the smell of old books, the feel of them.
            I like the feel of the solid presence of a cat snuggled up against or on me when I sleep or read.  I like the feel of the wind in my hair and the freedom—the outright euphoria—I can only experience when I canter or gallop a horse across open pasture, something I haven’t done in far too long.  I like the weight and balance of holding a blade in my hand, or the tension drawing my bow.  I like the feel of embroidered Chinese silk, the color with which it glows in the sunlight—colors that can’t be duplicated by any other fabric.
            I love the smell of a forest in summer—the cool of its depths surrounded by a radiating warmth from the sun mixed with the dappled shadows.
            Each of these things can be utilized in my writing.  As I’ve said before, I try to incorporate real things from my own life as a way for people to know me better, if they know what to look for.  It’s like my secret code to people I know and love, saying: this is who I am…can you see me?  Can you understand?  Can you accept?

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