This summer my husband and I visited the great city of Chicago.
I’d love to say that we strolled through downtown, but that isn’t how it was. People were moving a mile a minute and I was sure that the local taxi drivers bet on who could scare the living crap out of the most pedestrians.
Regardless…I loved it.
I loved taking the water taxi across the lake and walking on the pier at night watching the sun set. I loved standing in the Willis Tower and overlooking what felt like the whole world.
And mostly…I loved how the city lights and the sounds from the busy streets and nightlife surrounded us.
It inspired me.
On our second night, my poor husband stood by the window while I lay on the couch, my mind reeling and working out yet another story idea. I’d absorbed so much that my brain felt like it would pop if I didn’t sit down and sort out all the ideas.
Occasionally, my husband would look over and take note of my still deep-in-thought facial expression and then turn back to the hubbub of the screaming city below.
But finally, I sighed and smiled and told him the title of the story that had come to life, thanks to Chicago.
He sat down, happy and smiling, pulled my legs across his lap and said, “Tell me about it.” And I did.
It was then that I realized what makes my brain work overtime in writer mode: LOCATION.
All of my story ideas were sparked from places I’ve been.
Put me in Siberia and I promise I can come up with a love story and fully rounded characters.
I guess it happens that way because I feel like I am seeing things through the characters eyes. I am as close to being in their world as I can get…unless I convince my husband to act out scenes, and though he loves me, I’m pretty sure he would draw the line upon being asked to ‘pretend’ to be a make believe person.
Unfortunately for me, however, I can’t travel all the time, though I can’t help but wonder what it must be like to get to do that. To travel to the destination of your setting and write to your heart’s content until you’ve purged every last word from your fingertips would be unbelievable.
For now though, I will just have to imagine…surround myself with pictures of my setting. Maybe that will get the juices flowing again.
What about you? What makes you stop and go “Hmmm..”? What makes your brain work overtime? When are you your most creative?
Let me know…I am interested in what makes other writers tick. 🙂