Back to Inspiration

Robin and I talked yesterday — we’re retitling the book THE RUBY KEY (deeply significant). And to send the YA off, I’ll need a short outline of the rest of the book and a summary of directions in which I’d like to take the series. Not so much work after all, then (until I start the worldbuilding retrofit, which I’ll have to do to actually write the book (and books to follow, I hope) — and I made good progress yesterday, reading and editing through the first ninety pages, and tossing out ideas to myself about where I could take the story.

The Ruby Key: Pictograph 1Today I have Inspiration running, and I’m doing the pictograph trick to force my mind to give me the story I want.

Basically, the pictograph trick is taking random images that strike my subconscious as being somehow meaninful to the story, clustering them, connecting them randomly, and then turning my subconscious loose once more to starting writing meaningful things about this hodgepodge. I’ve used the technique before, and always have wonderful results when I take the time to do it.

More to follow.

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About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and indie-publish my new ones.

9 comments… add one
  • PolarBear May 4, 2006 @ 11:53

    Holly has a wonderfully unusual brain. And the world is better for it.

  • Liz May 4, 2006 @ 9:59

    Having read LGD, I went back to your clustering outline, and the first read-through, I couldn’t see how it worked in. On the second read-through, though, I started to pick up things. I don’t think my brain works anything like yours. *g* I’d end up with a meandering, surreal story (more than usual) 😉

  • hollylisle May 4, 2006 @ 9:55

    And a much more complete look at clustering. When the Story Starts With No Words. Incidentally, the book that burst from this clustering session, and that sold directly from the story that came from this exercise, was I SEE YOU, due out in July.

  • hollylisle May 4, 2006 @ 9:47

    I know these image jumbles look pointless. It isn’t the pictures that do the trick. It’s the connection to the subconscious. The link to how I use those collages of images to create a story is Clustering Techniques for Breaking Writing Barriers.

  • zette May 3, 2006 @ 22:48

    You know that looks like total chaos to me. I can’t see anything in it, which I find odd since I am graphically inclined in other ways.

    Good luck!

  • BJSteeves May 3, 2006 @ 7:54

    If they only had a Linux version…Sigh…..

  • The English Rose May 3, 2006 @ 6:07

    Yay! Good luck rebuilding it, Holly. That sounds like a fascinating technique. I must check out the site. (And it’s wierd but suddenly YA is everywhere in my little writing world.)

  • michele_lang May 2, 2006 @ 18:46

    How cool…this Inspiration site is fascinating. Your method reminds me of Jenny Crusie’s collages.

    Thank you for sharing your process with us…I’m going to try this with my next urban fantasy manuscript.


  • TinaK May 2, 2006 @ 10:25

    I love to watch the way you work Holly – it’s utterly fascinating.

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