Friday, July 15, 2011

When Lightning Strikes

A lot of great things happened to me this week, but one of my favorites was when I was out to dinner on Monday and brainstorming some story ideas with my coolio friend L.T. Elliot. During our conversation, we both experienced a few of those beautiful, brilliant A-HA moments that every writer loves.

It started me thinking...what spark in the brain, what firing of synapses causes these wonderful moments to happen? Is it some kind of gift of writer-dom that our brains bend and twist in ways that others wouldn't even consider? Do we just work and streamline our individual creative muscles until they are svelte and primed for action? Or is it some great "Muse" leading us to these moments of genius?

What has been your favorite A-HA moment and why do you think they happen?


  1. I think that the more you put yourself out there creatively, whether it be listening to great music, reading great book, watching good movies, interacting with people, even trying new food...anything that gets you out of normal everyday life I think stimulates the creative process. Just going to WalMart can provide endless character studies, lol, as is listening to my kids' conversations with their friends. I think writers are just more aware than regular ol' folks--every overheard conversation can be fodder for our stories. :)
    Great post!

  2. I think learning and reading and just observing the world puts all sorts of ideas in our heads, and then when we have time to just let our brains wander, or have a good brainstorming session, we get an A-HA. Mine tend to come while doing the dishes or taking a shower.

    Glad you had some good A-HA's. :)

  3. More often than not, my A-HA moments are really more like A-HA days. I rarely get a big, fleshed idea all at once. It's more like the flicker of an idea, that will come and grab me by the throat, and I will spend the rest of the day unraveling the A-HA. :)

  4. I had some major A-HA moments the other night when I was brainstorming with my husband about some of the technology in my next book.

    I have most of my A-HA moments when I'm talking out my plot with someone, even just via email.

    Good luck getting that A-HA to come out the way you want it. ;)

  5. I've been trying to write a 'future of gaming' book for four years now, literally three completely different plots and over 1200 pages on the various first drafts. Version four, the one I'm pushing now, came to me one day when I fell asleep for an instant on my couch -- one quick, dream image that changed everything.

  6. I think we have to be in a state of mind that is ready to expand or recieve ideas. Alot of my ideas come in the shower. Sometimes they hit me like a car in a drive by and I am left standing there blinking.

    My favorite is the one "what if?" that turned the WIP at that time on it's ear and I re-wrote the new idea in four months.

  7. I think you are right in that our brains as writers are primed for the ideas when they come. It is a lot like waiting for lightning to strike...except we as writers use our pens (keyboards) as lightning rods and dare it to strike us.


  8. I tell my wife all the time that my inspiration comes from the fact that my mind is loosely wired. Meaning it tends to wander all over the place. And I do mean ALL over the place. But that's just me.