Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Snippets for Something Later

“Can you tell I’m easily distracted?”

“She was a very manly woman.”

And my personal favorite quote of the week: “Ribbons bother me. Why do we give them out as awards when we also use them to identify prize fair pigs?”

Ok, so what do these statements have in common? I scribbled them down in my small spiral pad, because they sounded interesting.

You never know when someone’s going to say something that strikes a chord with you. Will you remember it if you don’t write it down?

Keeping a small note pad within arm’s reach lets me jot down ideas, comments, even just things to do that I don’t want to forget. Half of what I write down I will tear out and toss later, but some of it may work its way into one of my character’s personalities or a dialogue sequence.

In his article A Day in the Life of a Writer, Jeff Heffron offers this insight into how capturing the commonplace can pay off in the long run.

In a single day, you can find enough ideas to write about for a good long while. Details, images, dialogue, events—in your life, in the news, in the lives of those around you. We have hundreds, maybe thousands of thoughts, ideas, impressions, and reactions that often are forgotten minutes later.
Heffron recommends the exercise of writing down everything that happens to you in a day. I’ve never tried the full exercise, but I have adopted the habit of keeping my small spiral pad by my side.

So take a minute to think back over your day. Did you hear something today that caught your ear? And if so, did you take the time to write it down?

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