I’m finding that I reach a point when I’m writing where everything begins to feel stale, forced, boring, same-old-same-old. I get so uninspired with the text I just want to toss it all in and give up. That’s when I reach for some inspiration. Right now that inspiration is coming in the form of some of my favourite authors.
I have a small pile of books sitting on my desk and beside my bed, and on the cupboard under the window – ok it’s not such a small pile of books. These books hold the key to good writing. Some of the titles currently piling up around me include Anne McCaffrey‘s Dragonflight (this is a huge inspiration at the moment because this is the genre I’m tying to write, the sort of story I’m trying to weave), there’s also some Robin Hobb, Anne Bishop‘s The Pillars of the world, and Charles de Lint‘s Someplace to be flying. I reach for a copy of one these novels and I flip to a page, any page at all, and I read it. I think about why I like it, how the action reads, how the dialogue flows, how it progresses the story or the characters along and then I try to emulate what I’ve read. I don’t copy them, I don’t try to write they way they do, use their voice, but I begin to pay attention to what is good about what I’ve written, think about how these authors may have written my scene and so on.
It’s not something I do all the time, but it has been something I’ve done more often the last day or so. It does seem to be helping to keeping me from sending the whole story to my trash file though.