Sunday, May 3, 2009

An Exercise to Inspire...

Eeek! Late to the party--Where did April go? I missed my May 1st post so I'm making up for it now. This month I thought I'd talk about being Inspired. It seems that there's a whole lot of grumbling going on with authors. There's always an excuse waiting at the tip of your tongue and no amount of complaining is going to get you to finish your writing. The best way to help make things easier on yourself is finding elements around you that will keep you excited about your work in progress (WIP). I love the research aspect before I start any process. I usually come up with an idea and then it just grows into one big ball of excitement. I love to write about far off places and learning the history, sights, cultures, etc. Inspiration doesn't have to be epic things. It can be such a small kernel that will pop into a grand imagination.

If you're still stuck, I've got a visualization exercise to help jump start and hopefully inspire you.

1. 1 poster board
2. Several magazines
3. Glue Stick
4. Colored markers
5. Sparklies and scrapbook trinkets optional

Okay, you're probably thinking what the heck is she up to? It looks like a kid's project.

You're partially right. And what I'll add to this is that the power of the mind is the strongest feature you have...if you believe in it.

What I want you to do is to stare at the blank poster board and imagine you're populating it with your story. What does your hero and heroine look like? What is your story about? What important elements make up the story? What is the monkey wrench in the h/h reaching their ultimate goals? What is the setting? What is the color scheme? What is the emotion?

These seem like simple enough questions in your head, but when you can lay it down on some artistic visual outline, it makes the story more real in your head. That's where the magazines come into play. Now, I want you to map out the story through cutting various items that applies to the questions I threw out. Make sure to glue them down once you've done a make-shift map. Then, with your markers, label the elements and jot down notes on the story. This exercise is like a large scale journal. Some people use stickies and place them in order on a poster board--but I love using images. The whole color scheme and feel of your visual piece will make the story fresh and alive in your mind for when you start writing.

This project has two parts. After you've created the first piece...the poster board outline...The second part is to really absorb the imagery. Soak it in, feel the emotions of the story, find the missing gaps of your story and you'll soon be in the mood to write. Don't think too hard as you write. Don't edit. Just write as much as you can because you'll find the story will flow through the visual map you've already created. You will be amazed at how many pages you've written and when you're done, you will see that the poster board was just the beginning imprint of your completed story.

Even with no artistic talents..your creativity will come through in this project and it's a matter of taking time out to exercise your mind so you won't put too much pressure on writing. This is a sort of release from all those writing tips and guidelines that keep you stifled from creating. When you use your visual brain to lay out the foundations of your story, it makes the overall picture so much clearer.

Trust me on it. I'd love to see what you've done with your collage...please tell me if this exercise helped.


I'd like to see your attempts at this exercise. Just post an image of your masterpiece on your blog by next Sunday, May 10th. If you've done this project, make sure to comment on this post with your link so I can view your entries.

I'll have judges choose the most creative Visual Collage. One lucky winner will receive an awesome writer's package through the mail. Unfortunately, international folks will only get an Amazon Gift Card and the ebook of my current release ART OF SENSUALITY...

Jax Cassidy


~tivi jones said...

Such a great idea. I've been working feverishly on my newest WIP and was just thinking this morning that I feel like I'm losing my vision and "feel" for the story. A visual aid could help. Thanks, Jax!

Jax Cassidy said...

I would love to see the collage if you decide to do this. I'm going to do one myself..haven't done one in a long while.

Kelley Nyrae said...

Oooh, great idea!

Jane E. Jones said...

Love this idea! I've done the sticky note on poster board thing, but this sounds way more fun. :)

Jax Cassidy said...

You can be as creative as you want. I'm telling you, it's an addiction like ATC trading cards. Once you start you find other things to channel your creativity into. It makes for a well-rounded artist!

Dyanne said...


I love the picture you posted, very colorful.


Niambi Brown Davis said...

Love your post! For me visualization is key; if I can't "see" it, it's difficult to make the story real for readers.

Cate said...

Yay, I finished my project today. Here's the link to it.
This was a great, fun exercise. As you can tell I had too much fun looking up pictures of ian Somerhalder (poor Boone from Lost).

Jax Cassidy said...

Cate, you're awesome! I'm going to have a look...