When I first started writing, I'd wait around for inspiration to strike.
Fortunately, I didn't watch a lot of TV, often played or worked outside by myself, and had plenty of time to hear myself think.
So inspiration came pretty readily.
I was often able to work out stories in my head in a fun and relaxed manner. Later, I'd simply go write them down.
That doesn't really work when on a deadline or writing in a professional capacity.
I still need to have fun with writing. I still need to be relaxed. But there's no way I can wait for inspiration.
If you've followed these posts for a while, you know a lot of ideas come from events in my life that get turned around, stuck together and reimagined.
But I've got some additional tricks and prompts that help get things going.
First, I have lists of story types I enjoy reading. Here are just a few:
Flash fiction (less than 1000 words)
Series stories (with recurring characters)
Second, I have a very general list of things I like:
When it's time to write a story, I pick something from each list and start writing.
Yesterday morning--in anticipation of today's blog post--I picked:
I wrote the first sentence (which turned out to be more like the 10th in the final draft) and before long it was clear I was writing a story about Sheriff Cheyenne Ned and his consulting detective, the gypsy magician Mrs. O'Connor.
I've only penned one other story set in Darbyville, Kansas, but I have two notebook pages full of characters and ideas.
Finally, since I wanted to be sure and have the story done today, I decided to keep it under 1000 words.
I finished Bird's Eye View in just under 90 minutes with a ten minute break to greet the UPS man.
I hope you enjoy this entry in the series, and I hope you'll share some of the tricks you keep the sleeve of your writing jackets.
After growing up on a Nebraska farm, Richard Prosch worked as a professional writer, artist, and teacher in Wyoming, South Carolina, and Missouri. His western crime fiction captures the fleeting history and lonely frontier stories of his youth where characters aren’t always what they seem, and the windburned landscapes are filled with swift, deadly danger. In 2016, Richard roped the Spur Award for short fiction given by Western Writers of America. Read more at www.RichardProsch.com