Flittering Sparks

Flittering Sparks

By Natalie Bright

This one’s a biggey: I wish someone had told me about story sparks. How they come out of nowhere, at the worst possible times, when there’s not a pen and pencil to be found anywhere.

These elusive visions flit into your mind and disappear with a poof, never to return. It might be a character sporting a wide-faced grin taunting “Catch me if you can.” Sometimes it’s a fantastical place, one that’s so vibrant and alive in your mind. You just know it’s filled with fascinating characters. Other times, this new creation comes to you without a moment’s notice in vivid detail. It might be a crucial scene for your work in progress, no matter if you’re ready for that scene or not.

An Orderly World

As an office manager during the day, I like things orderly. Certain things have specific deadlines. This pile of bills must be paid by the 30th, for example. One particular process is done on the 10th of every month; always. In my mind as a newbie, that’s how I thought writing should be. You start with chapter one and you move forward through your masterpiece until you type THE END.

Stop Lying to Yourself

Don’t believe for one second that writing is a logical process. These glorious sparks of genius come at you day and night, with no rhyme or reason. Snatch them up, greedily, without hesitation. Write that ending to your book, no matter if you’re still struggling through chapter one. When that image appears in your mind, stop everything and put it to words.

Idea Notebooks

Do you carry an idea notebook? In addition to the notepads I carry in my car and purse, I’ve written story ideas on restaurant napkins, band concert programs, and bank deposit slips. In the short time someone can ask, “What’s for dinner?” the idea can be gone, and you’ll be left a weeping, pitiful writer of nothing.

JUST BE during this holiday season. Listen, taste, take a deep breathe–LIVE and fill up your idea notebooks. Merry Christmas everybody!



5 Ways to Start Writing and Stay Writing

5 Ways to Start Writing and Stay Writing.

by Rory C. Keel

Break it down

Don’t focus on the whole story or book. Concentrate on  writing one scene or segment at a time.

Apply Layers

First, write down facts. Next write surrounding details about the facts. And then write about the feelings of the facts, yours and those surrounding time of the facts.

Mine tidbits

Expand the small things that happen in life. Remembering a feeling you once had or the way someone acted can create scenarios for you to write about or incorporate into your writing.

Discover Defining moments

Explore life-changing moments. Did you have a point in your life that changed you? What happened? How did you feel? What different actions did you take from that point forward? Use this information to understand the characters you write about.

Expose Rebel Jewels

Did you ever go against the mainstream? What was the outcome good or Bad? Use the moments in life when you had a little rebel in you and transfer the actions, feelings and results into your writing. Yes you may change the names to protect the innocent!


The Art of Writing

The Art of Writing

By Rory C. Keel

I appreciate a good work of art. I enjoy paintings, sculptures, and on occasion a memorable structure of architecture. Some of these works I don’t understand, like abstract art, there’s been times that i’ve wondered if I could do better by closing my eyes and throwing the paintbrush at the canvas. But I do appreciate a good piece of art.

In order to understand art, I participated in a college art appreciation class. In this class I found out that there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye.

Art is the expression of an idea, formed in such a way it allows others to enjoy the experience. This is done by creating music, paintings, sculpture, dance and even writing. Within each of these forms of art, are principles of craftsmanship that must be followed regarding specific materials and how they work.

Meet the Artist

Thinking about my writing as an art form keeps me from over-analyzing and being too critical of my mental idea. This also helps prevent writers block. As a sculptor takes a blob of clay and shapes it to his or her idea, the writer needs to put the material, the idea, on the table or paper, and turn off the editor for the first draft.

Introduce the Craftsman

When the idea is formed, then the elements of the craft can be applied and the editor can take over to finish the masterpiece. Writing is the merger of art and craft.