Quick and Dirty Skye Tips #3 – Daydreams and Observations: Story Idea Generation at Its Finest!
Hello Skye Readers!
I was reading over a self-help writing book that told people how to get ideas for writing. That’s one thing I’m not lacking on. I have so many awesome ideas and too little time to write them all. However, I was surprised to find out two missing mental tools missing in the book I was reading that I have come to value: Daydreaming and Observing. Let me break both down.
1. That Far Off Look In Your Eye May Be Your Next Story
Has a parent or teacher ever told you, “Get your head out of the clouds!” Maybe a person was talking to you, noted your vacant look, and asked, “Are you listening to me?” That’s a big one I hear most often because, honestly, sometimes I don’t. The world is a busy and noisy place, and sometimes I tune it out. Most times I don’t realize I’m doing it, but sometimes I do.
In my upcoming story, The Alpha Warlocks’ Desire, my heroine is a daydreamer herself. Claire, as an earth witch, always makes her way down from the clouds sooner or later. Me? Sometimes it takes me a little longer, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
You may have noticed that one of my taglines is “Conquering New Worlds and Conversing with Her Characters Daily.” This may seem quirky, but it’s true, and yes, I am a little crazy from it. I think most writers will tell you they’re a little crazy, but so are actors, singers, entrepreneurs, and anyone who longed to break the conventional path of life.
The reason why I use this as a tag is because I’m constantly thinking about my characters and their journeys in new worlds. I’ve tried to force things in outlines and stories, but sometimes characters guide what they want to be without me pushing and prodding.
I’ve always been a big daydreamer. Movies have always been a passion of mine, and usually they cause me to think and daydream long after the credits finish rolling up. Some of my best ideas come from daydreaming up stories after watching an awesome movie or T.V. show.
I watched Being Human (both UK and US versions), Lost Girl, and Witches of East End last year, as I have ever since they all started. I thought it was awful that these shows had season finales and wished that I could keep some magical elements going for my own enjoyment. Then the seeds of the fictional town of Kala West, Florida was planted.
The next time someone tells you to stop daydreaming or start listening, say okay, and then jot down your daydreams. They just may be your next story idea.
2. Observing Humans (and Sometimes Animals and Aliens) Interact Builds Ideas
Let’s face it. As a society, we’re nosy by nature. Haven’t you ever been in traffic, only to realize it was partly in due to nosy drivers gawking at the scene of destruction? Be honest. You were probably one of those nosy drivers.
As a Central Floridian, I-4 is our biggest interstate because it leads people straight to tourist central: Universal Studios, Disney, and loads of other fun for outsiders. Not so much fun for us locals, let me tell you.
But one great thing about living in a big city like Orlando is that there are many opportunities for people watching (animal watching too). I have got some good ideas for verbal fights by watching couples scream at each other in Barnes and Nobles, noting how strangers greet each other at Starbucks, and viewed how religion can help (and hurt) people when going to church.
These small instances add up and can help when creating your own character relationships. The alien comment stems from MegaCon coming to town soon, but it can also be from movies, since loads of films give personification to animals and aliens (Avengers sequel anyone?).
Anyway, the point is that observing people, and other living things, in their habitat can enhance storytelling. The same goes for dialogue. I love dialogue. You are definitely going to get loads of dialogue when you read any one (or all :-D) of my stories. But the way I talk isn’t the way everyone talks, so hearing the voice of others helps to portray different characters outside of myself.
It’s your turn again. What was a daydream you had that could have been a kick-ass story idea? Remember, it’s not too late to start it!
Happy Sensual Reading (And Writing),