The Week’s Tweets: How to dodge subconscious blocks, inspire creativity, and WTS (write the story!)

1. Ease your subconscious into WTS, #1: Step back and rewrite the last page you wrote the day before.

2. Ease your subconscious into WTS, #2: Visualize the scene. List smells, tastes, textures, sights, and sounds to prime description.

3. Ease your subconscious into WTS, #3: Outline your character’s motivation, thoughts, feelings, and responses in a scene.

4. Ease your subconscious into WTS, #4: Making a collage taps a different part of your creativity than writing, providing inspiration.

5. Ease your subconscious into WTS, #5: No time for paper and glue? Make a virtual collage using online images and software s.a. Picasa.

If you’re interested, come join me at @CherylRWrites for near-daily Tweets to help you thrive on the writer’s road.

:) Cheryl

Letting the Right Brain Speak


Yesterday, I indulged in two of my favorite activities: I spent time with a few writer friends and, simultaneously, created a collage for my new novel. It’s the perfect combination. The friends keep my analytical left brain occupied with conversation, while my right brain can select images, words, faces that speak to me about the story.

The result is shown above.

Did it reveal anything to me? Oh, yes. Not in concrete words, but in my character’s emotions and voice, which have been the most difficult for me to capture. Since I think character emotions and voice are the most critical part of any story, that was kind of a problem!

Now I’m off to see if I can translate the gut-level inspiration provided by the collage onto the page….


In my last post, I discussed whether the “Call to Action” had to appear in chapter 1 of a book—and decided, in short, not necessarily. However, that’s not to say that the opening isn’t important. It’s crucially important. It’s just that, sometimes, I think that presenting the characters and their situation (the “real world” for those fans of The Writer’s Journey—an excellent craft book) may be more important than diving straight into action.

So what’s this mean for my book?

It means that I have to decide what my book is about. Is it a straight-up adventure about solving a series of mysterious disappearances? Is it primarily a magical encounter, where the main character is learning about this strange underwater world surrounding the San Juan Islands?

Or is it primarily the story of a girl troubled by the past, trying to discover who she is?

I think I have a call to action in my opening chapter now. It’s not the sort I expected when I was brainstorming ideas with my critique group. But it’s the sort that fits with the story, or with what the story wants to be.

And of course, I would never have gotten there without my group :).