Inspiration and quotes

Posted by Patrice Wilton | 7:51 AM | 17 comments »

Good morning everyone,
I wonder what you all do for inspiration? Take a walk, listen to music, watch movies? I've never had this problem before - I simply thought about the next book I was going to write, had a rough idea of who the characters were, and a vague idea of the plot, and within a week of finishing up the book I was working on, I'd sit back down at the computer, and be excited to start again on a new story, and watch it unfold in front of me.
I have written so many books, I have lost count, but only have two published, and three out there making the rounds. I finished a book in June, and I've taken the summer off and now it's time to get back to work. How many times does an average writer rewrite the beginning, I'd like to ask. I think I probably need to make a blind stab at it, get what I know down on paper, then as I research and come to know my characters better, I refine and hopefully get it right.
What is your process in starting a new book? Are you a plotter, and use a plotting board with sticky notes everywhere? I wish I were - I truly think it would be much easier to know where I'm going and have the entire outline before I start to write, but my brain doesn't work that way. I'm just not that organized, but see more the big picture.
Anyway, I know I'm rambling, because this afternoon I have to make another attempt at my beginning for my story, because I bored myself, and oh, that is such a bad thing!
Here is a couple of quotes to leave you with. They are pasted on my computer and I think they are quite wonderful. I'm a Pisces and here are two of my horoscopes. Read on.

Worthwile achievements don't happen by chance. Often there are many, many mistakes to pave the way for one remarkable accomplishment.

You weren't born with the attitude that makes you a success. You have to choose it and then get up the next day and choose it again.

Aren't they wonderful? I choose sucess. I have made lots and lots of mistakes and now I'm off to discover that one remarkable accomplishment. Good luck everyone in finding yours!~

17 comments

  1. Nightingale // October 25, 2010 at 10:22 AM  

    I don't plot either, Patrice, and I throw away a lot of pages! Loved the quotes. I choose success too.

  2. Traci // October 25, 2010 at 12:42 PM  

    That is so nice, Patrice!! I too choose success :) we've been in the game too long to quit now, lolololol

  3. Rosemary // October 25, 2010 at 12:47 PM  

    I am starting to plot my books. Saves time w/the rewrites. Great blog. I take success any day.

  4. Lynne Roberts // October 25, 2010 at 1:13 PM  

    I loved the quotes. I don't plot... well at least not on paper. I run the story through my head a half a dozen times and the write a rough draft... that's my outline. ; )

    When I'm stuck, the treadmil sets the muses free every time!

  5. Patrice // October 25, 2010 at 1:21 PM  

    Lynne,
    I'm sort of like that too. I have a basic outline in my head, and when I get stuck I go for a long walk and usually think through the problem. Exercise helps free the mind.

  6. Mary Marvella // October 25, 2010 at 2:00 PM  

    Great quotes! I need a lot of attitude adjustments. Thanks for today's adjustment, Paarice.

    I start my books with "what if".
    Or sometimes a voice speaks in my ear and I just start typing.

    I have completed 10 books and rewritten two of them. I have sold none but I have collected my share of rejections.

  7. Patrice // October 25, 2010 at 2:17 PM  

    Mary M,
    I share your pain. I think I could wall paper my entire house in rejections, and what's worse, they still keep coming. Sheesh - enough already!

  8. Autumn Jordon // October 25, 2010 at 4:37 PM  

    Pat, What a wonderful quotes. Brainstorming with others often helps me. Even if it's just a scene. Or writing the backstory of the heroine and hero helps too.

    Hope your day was productive.

  9. Cyrano // October 25, 2010 at 4:55 PM  

    Hi Patrice!
    Well, I don't plot, more of a panster her, and I do find spontaneous inspiration in loads of places. My favorite place to help get the paranormal juices flowing is watching the show Supernatural(love those Winchester boys) and coming up with new story ideas happens all the time when I'm watching the discovery channel, history channel, science channel...and so on.
    So that's a bit about me:)
    Great quotes, by the way!
    Have a wonderful night,
    Tamara

  10. Margaret Tanner // October 25, 2010 at 5:42 PM  

    Hi Patrice,
    Love the quotes, and so very true. Yes, I am like you, I can't plot in advance, I have to do it as I go along.

    Cheers

    Margaret

  11. Judy // October 25, 2010 at 5:56 PM  

    Great blog, Patrice! Love the quotes. I choose success too! When I start a new book, I know the basic plot of it. Then I do character sketches and begin. I always have a title, an ending, the characters' names and the first chapter before I try to do a sketch of the rest of the book. I'm just not a real plotter. Can't work that way...

  12. Lilly Gayle // October 25, 2010 at 6:21 PM  

    Great blog. My record for rewriting the beginning is way up there. I lost count after 6 times. But persistence pays off. The historical romance I wrote in 1999 that went through 2 agents (before I gave up on agents) and a near miss at getting published with a NY publisher, has just been contracted by The Wild Rose Press. (Release date unknown.) But what matters is that it finally happened! And there were many many mistakes that paved the way!

  13. Mona Risk // October 25, 2010 at 6:25 PM  

    Patrice what a great post. I am starting a new story. Actually I wrote a chapter five years ago, sent it to a contest, won second place and got stuck with three different plots, and then forgot about it. Two days ago, I opened the file by mistake and liked the chapter, so now I am trying to write an outline.

    I keep rewriting my fist page for months. I have about 25 saved version of the first page of every book. I am a nut case about good hooks.

  14. Barbara Monajem // October 25, 2010 at 7:10 PM  

    I am trying very hard to learn how to plot. I've been reading Goal, Motivation and Conflict to remind me how to go about it.

    Usually, I tweak my opening quite a bit, but that's partly because my opening is often written in pantser mode so I can get a feel for my characters before trying to plot the rest of the story.

  15. Patrice // October 25, 2010 at 8:38 PM  

    Thank you, everyone for responding to this blog. It looks like there is a whole lot of pantsers out there, and I'm in very good company. I agree with Mona that getting a hook, a captivating beginning is crucial, and like Barbara I have a good idea of the characters etc, but I need to get it down first then rework it.
    Glad you all enjoyed the quotes.

  16. Mary Ricksen // October 25, 2010 at 8:47 PM  

    Me too!! I'm not smart enough!
    I think your writing is amazing and the books you have published are wonderful. There is a lot of competition out there and it takes ability, talent, perseverance, and a lot of being in the right place at the right time, just plain old luck.
    Never doubt yourself, I've heard you read and I promise, you can write!

  17. P.L. Parker // October 25, 2010 at 9:20 PM  

    I don't plot. I run a hot tub, sit down and relax and the ideas pop into my mind. That seems to be my inspiration.