Unorthodox Writing Tips 4: A Different Point of View.
So I’m sitting here and staring at my screen. My eyes go in and out of focus. I’m having a real tough time figuring out what to write next. It doesn’t matter if I’m updating an existing work or if I’m staring at a blank screen, I just can not get the words to start flowing.
Has this ever happened to you? Really? You mean I’m not alone? Whew. I was worried there for a moment.
The question becomes this, what do you do when you’re having those points where words just do not want to come out of your head? Do you just sit there and wait? Do you fire up a first-person shooter? Do you access twitter and pretend like that’s writing? Log onto facebook?
You know what I do? I change my point of view.
I want you to stand up (if you can do that right now) and look around at your surroundings. What’s around you right now? Are you at a desk with a wall in front of you? Are you at the local Starbucks drinking a coffee and listening to music? Are you sitting at the kitchen table with the kids running by? Are you on a crowded bus trying to type out a few words during your commute? Take a moment and type out a description of where you’re currently sitting.
Next I want you to get up and walk outside. If you’re already outside, change the place you’re currently at. Now I want you to take a moment and just take a deep breath. Look around outside and try, in your mind, to describe what you see. What you hear. What you smell. How it makes you feel. Is it cold outside? Does the sun warm your face? Is there traffic going by? Are there people or animals around? Do you overhear a conversation? Is the wind blowing through the trees?
Now go back to where you were and describe what just happened. Don’t think about what just happened but instead describe in as much detail as you can what you experienced. Did a black-and-white dog run by? Perhaps a lady with an oversized, purple purse and her hair up in curlers walked past. How many cars did you see? Get in everything you can. Describe the terrible sound the car made as it rattled and sputtered by. Try and catch as much detail as you can about that couple of minutes of experience.
Once you’re written this down, take the time to start on your work that just sitting there waiting for you. Use that experience to spice up a scene you’re working on. Include that dog or that lady or that car that went by or the smells wafting by on the breeze. Try to take something from what you just experienced and include that in your work to make the scene a little richer, a little more than it was just a moment before.
If you’re ever stuck again, just give it a try. Poke your head outside, take a deep breath and just watch and listen for a minute or two. If you do type up either what you currently see around your writing area or what you see outside, post it as a comment. I’d love to hear about it.
Until Next week.