Saturday, September 21, 2013
Feed Em After Midnight
I am a night owl.
Always have been, always will be. That said, I think many more writers would benefit from one solitary exercise to help you write more. Yes, we know that you must kill your darlings. We also know we must write what we know and to begin at the beginning. But here's what they are not telling you that it took me 13 years to figure out.
When it comes to night owls its best to not drain your brain with late night TV or endless computer games. If you stay up past midnight and you are a creative person than there's only one thing you can really do...
Think about it.
This whole time you've played it safe, let yourself wind down, letting your mind to be entertained into pudding. But how much writing have you gotten done? Hmmm?
The only way you can zap your mind out of entropy is to feed it after midnight.
Take Gremlins for example. I'm sure we've all seen it by now. (By the way, don't hold out hope for a Gremlins 3. It ain't happening.) In this movie a father buys a new unique pet for his son. It's cute, its furry and all sorts of cuddly. The only rule: No feeding after midnight.
Now, if they aren't fed at midnight, we would have been treated to a family friendly Boy-and-his-Mogwai story of hope, endurance and the cute things that help us analyze life.
Good story but where's the drama?
Feed em after midnight and what happens?
Why chaos ensues! And yes, it is startling, but honestly, a Mogwai is the perfect metaphor for writing. The act of writing itself presents chaos but with it also fear, drama, comedy, horror, heroic feats, tender moments, shocking revelations and stunning plot twists. And if you can accomplish all that by sitting in a chair and writing, who knows the new stories you might unleash?
So feed your imagination...but make sure you do it after midnight, K? ;)