It’s true. You know how when you get a bunch of random ideas and try and force them to fit together into a story or a plot how they fit together badly like old Lego which has been under a radiator for months? The problem is with those ideas is that they are random. You are trying to force the issue and bolt together random stuff. It’s inevitable.
This is the trouble when you try and be wacky. Or try to be authentic. Or try to be something you are not. It’s an amazing thing but you know the way to make your ideas fit together? Be authentic. If you are in the proper creative state and you let the ideas flow rather than force them out then they have a unity you don’t get from desperate randomness.
But then authenticity, being yourself and not trying to be something you are not, is the cornerstone of all good writing. Scratch that – it’s the cornerstone of all good art, full stop. You have to be real, you have to be you. Don’t try and be a sci-fi author if you don’t read it. Don’t try to write a young adult book if you are just doing it to make money. Don’t write literary novels just to win the Man Booker prize.
Don’t jump into a foxhole with a load of other writers, and do wizards or vampires or middle aged newly divorced women finding love while selling their marital villa in Provence… Find a niche for yourself. CREATE ONE! And for goodness sake write what you write to please you, a fan of your own genre, and if you are authentically someone who writes philosophical science fantasy mexican wrestler novels, then do that.
Don’t do that last one, that’s my niche.
Now you know as well as a writer I am also a hypnotist. If you didn’t you do now. I use it a lot in my creativity coaching, and one of my favourite hypnosis books, well I suppose its an audiobook, is Igor Ledochowski’s “Conversational Hypnosis”. It’s a kind of retooling and updating of the kind of hypnosis that the great grandaddy of hypnosis Milton Erickson used to do. It’s old school, but in a very real sense it’s new school as well as Erickson’s work was also the basis for what they call NLP. Igor’s programme takes you through all the stages of conversational hypnosis, that is to say hypnosis you do to people while talking. There is no official “trance state” but the person you are talking to is hypnotised. They just aren’t aware of it. This isn’t some creepy mind control thing, and it’s almost impossible to use something like this for evil ends, but it does make you more persuasive in conversation. Thinking about language in this way makes you a much better writer, trust me. If you don’t believe me have a LOOK.
My second tip is the excellent “Writesparks!” software by Shery Ma Belle Arrieta-Russ. (As WC Fields would say, what a euphonious appellation!) Using this software you can generate over 10 million starting points and kick offs for your work. I really like this program, and the only downside for me is I’m a Mac user and I have to run an emulator to use it, but it’s a great program and I am all about having options. For music I use about 4-5 different pieces of software to jog my creativity. On the writing side I have “Writesparks!” and a few other things including a program by Joe Vitale for generating Hypnotic writing, that is to say copywriting which is more compelling because it’s hypnotically based. That said Joe’s program is not for every situation. Shery’s program generates plot points and randomises characters and starting lines. It’s brilliant. It’s not the best looking program, but give me a tool that does the job and you can skip the paint job, you know what I mean? Check it out HERE.