August 03, 2012

The World Is Your Writing Tool

Painters search for beautiful landscapes that they can recreate on a canvas with brushstrokes. Poets draw inspiration from the world they know and see to pen wonderful lines of poetry. Writers can do the same by morphing what they see with their eyes into words and sentences in their novels.

Look at a landscape as an artist would. See how it flows and rolls, how the grass sways and dances with the wind, how the sun comes down in beams through puffs of clouds. Instead of panting it, you’re writing it. The effect can be one in the same because you are literally painting the image in a reader’s mind.

Study the world as a poet would. Find different ways to describe what you see. Once, when I was taking a walk and admiring the sky, I noticed how the setting sun transformed the fluffy clouds, giving them pretty pink and purple hues like cotton candy.  My brain lit up with that thought, and I immediately used it in my book: A cotton candy sky.

The news is a great substitute if you do not have experience with something you need to write about. When I was re-writing my first book, I had collected articles from newspapers and jotted down specific notes that I found interesting. It’s a crazy world out there. Use it! Watch your local news and read articles. You never know what may inspire you.

Once you open your eyes to the world, you will find writing possibilities everywhere. That is why I always have a notebook and pen, because I never know when I may see something that I’ll need to put in your book, or hear a snippet of a passing conversation that sounds exactly like something one of my characters would say.

After all, the world is a great writing tool!

 What is your favorite writing tool for inspiration?

Mine has to be my past. There’s a lot of juicy stuff in my history that I tweak for my characters.

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