Monday, November 23, 2015

[NaNoWriMo 2015] And a wild idea appears!

It is the bane of the writer's existence that we will be somewhere and, like a rare pokemon, an idea will appear.

Lo and behold, not a pen or sheet of paper to be found.

Don't you just hate that?

Like coming across a rare without the right kind of pokeball, having an idea appear out of nowhere can be a frustrating experience without the right tools. Me, I'm an iPhone junkie, so I have my trusty 4s with me at all times. (Yes, yes, I know we've moved on to the 6. That will happen in my life when the time is right.) So when that rare, beautiful, golden idea appears, I have exactly the kind of tools that can help me to capture it. Three things I use:

Camera: While many don't think of the camera as a go to for a writer, I find it quite useful. Sometimes the idea has everything to do with what I just saw; therefore, I need to make sure I can still see what I saw. Thus the camera. If it's a still photograph, that's easy. Just snap a quick shot of what you see to jog your memory and take it home with you. Be careful of being that creepy taking pictures of people though. Sometimes, it is just not the right place or time to take a shot. For those moments, you're gonna need something else.

Notepad: If the camera isn't feasible, but you've got a few minutes to write it out exactly as you'd like to copy and paste to an email, then open up the Notepad and write it out! I mean with dialogue tags and descriptions and everything. Make it as near to what you've got in your head as you can, but don't waste time worrying about whether it's too clean. After all, you're gonna have time to polish it once you get it into your word processor of choice. (I like Scrivener. A LOT.)

Voice Memos: I use this the least of the three, but it's definitely worth mentioning. When I need to just talk an idea out, which happens faster than I'm currently able to type, I open up voice memos and essentially word vomit out loud for the whole world to hear. Then I can play it back later as I ask myself: "Where was I going with this?" Sometimes the act of listening to it jogs a few bits loose like hitting a berry bush. Otherwise, it opens me up to new possibilities that may not have previously been on my map. Both useful happenings when you get right down to it.

There you have it, three tools with a basic iPhone you can use to capture a rogue idea when it has appeared unexpectedly.

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