Parched – definition : to wilt and dry out from heat.
Another descriptive word, which does the job of a long expositional sentence defining the landscape. But let’s look at it another way. What if we are ‘parched’ for ideas?
We have all stopped short in the midst of a scene unable to see where it is going or sat down to begin a new story and drawn a blank. Hesitation is the killer of ideas, in my opinion. Instead of worrying at which point to begin – just write what comes, the refining can come later. If seeing the words on the screen distract you and your inner editor wants to revise try this trick. Cover the screen with a tea towel or another piece of cloth! Sounds strange I know but it works. You can type what comes into your mind without the distraction. Obviously this trick doesn’t really help when you are writing in a notebook! I’m still working on that one.
Another ‘mind refresher’ is to look out of your window and write what you see in as much detail as you can.
Nuggets of ideas are transient at best so don’t lose them agonizing about how to incorporate or formulate them. Let it flow until you come to a natural halt. These small ideas may fill up note books or ‘idea’ folders on your computer, just keep them. At some stage they will come into their own as a scene, a short story or even the basis of a novel. I have scrolled through mine from time to time and not remembered writing some of them. It is like discovering old friends.
This is true for prompts as well, which I have found to be exceptionally helpful (and fun) when my mind is parched. Looking back on ‘scribbles’ is a great way to reignite your writing flow as well as a great source of character profiles and scenes. I have developed a whole novella from several prompts (The Rython Kingdom) and my children’s book Rumble’s First Scare was created from one prompt.
One resource I use is the featured book, Writing Prompt Journey http://www.dreamwritepublishing.ca/retail/books/writing-prompt-journey-road-your-creativity This excellent book is a compilation of prompts with several responses from other writers after each. You can either respond to the prompt and then read the other interpretations or visa versa. I find it very interesting to see how another writer uses the same prompt and how it sparked a entirely different idea in their mind to mine.
Of course the internet is also full of writing prompts and exercises but it requires quite a period of time trolling through them all. Another resource I use often is http://www.wfscsherwoodpark.com where there is a prompt put up every Saturday on the calendar.
You may have your own favorites, which is perfectly fine but may be try something new occasionally, you never know where it may lead.