writers

Writing Wednesday: The Traveling Writer

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Summer is in full swing and that means one thing. It’s vacation time, baby. We all need time away from the daily grind, especially if a project has gotten stale or writer’s block has reared its ugly head. Whether it’s hitting the beach, road tripping across country, or jet setting to a foreign land, changing your surroundings has the power to rejuvenate your muse, so you can jump back into your latest piece with fresh eyes.

Here are few tips to help get the most inspiration out of your vacation.

Carry a notebook.

Okay, you probably always have something to write on and with in your everyday life, and your vacation should be no different. Pick up a small notebook that you can easily slide into your purse or a spare pocket. When something strikes, just whip out and record. Don’t forget to take some downtime at the end of each day to write down your experiences. You never know what you’ll discover when you look back at your notes.

Take plenty of pictures.

I’m not talking about selfies or poses with famous monuments. New surroundings are fun, but they can seriously overwhelm your senses. It can be hard to remember the exact details of that cool bar you drank at or the specific twisty patterns of the tree branches you came across on your hike. If you stumble upon something that you think has the potential to work its way into your setting or pass something you think your character would love, snap a pic for later, so can describe it perfectly. Don’t forget to pick up brochures from places you see. They are great sources of information and memory joggers.

Mingle with the locals.

Want to really breathe life into your world and craft some seriously authentic dialogue? Chat up some of the locals. Not only are they the best source for the best places in town to eat and shop, they can provide insight to what day-to-day life is like. You’ll also pick up local lingo, dialects, and speech patterns. Not a fan of talking to strangers? Ask your tour guide or concierge for recommendations of local hangouts, post up a table, and just listen.

Soak it all in.

Eat local cuisine. See all the sights. Walk the streets. Take in every sight, sound, smell, and taste. Let your senses absorb every bit of where you are. Hey, they always say write what you know, right?

Writing Wednesday: Writing Prompt No. 16 Beliefs

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Here’s a a little something to help you delve into what makes your character tick:

One of the most personal things to a person is what they believe in. Whether current or from childhood, our belief systems help shape our morals, world views, and relationships. They can be sources of comfort, strength, guilt, or conflict. What does your character believe (or not believe) in? What system were they raised with? Do they still ascribe to that system or have they rejected it? Are they religious? Do they question? How does their belief system impact their day-to-day life, if at all? What is their reaction to belief systems of others?  Really dig deep. The things you discover can reveal some pretty powerful things about your character.

Happy writing!