Cold. Grey. Damp.
Not quite raining, but drizzling every now and then. The sort that makes you want to curl up under a blanket with a cup of coffee and a good book, though you know you should be writing. So you stuff the book under a pillow out of reach and pull out your laptop ... only to find yourself staring at a blinking cursor on a blank page with no idea how to get the words out of your head and into the story.
Ever had one of those days?
When I find it hard to write, it's usually because there's something holding me back.
Fear that I'll ruin what I think should be a good story. Fear that I'm a failure before I even get started. Fear that my story is terrible ... and I'll just make it worse.
In fact, I wrote a whole blog post about it once: When My Pen Runs Dry.
One thing that I've found helps me when I hit a dry spot in my writing, is to go back through my story and reread my favorite parts. This time, I decided to take it a little farther and designed a "quotes graphic" for each of the main characters to use as inspiration while I write.
I'm not a graphics designer by any means ... it's one of my many non-talents ... but I had fun making these and they serve their purpose such as it is!
Want to design your own character-inspiration graphic?
Here's what I did:
First, I settled on a color for the graphic. I tend to associate certain characters with specific colors even as I write. I knew automatically that Ceridwen would be a burned-to-the-embers fire red. Ronan on the other hand was a smoky blue, like the sea on a misty morning.
Second, I found words to describe my characters. These can be words your character would use to describe themselves. Or names others associate with them. Or words that encapsulate their identity in the story, even if they would never see themselves that way.
Ronan's tale is in many ways a story of becoming, so all the different words in his backdrop point to the many different identities he bears throughout the story.
The fire and ash in Ceridwen's backdrop, on the other hand, point to her past. A past that continues to define her present and her future.
This, of course, is entirely up to you! I chose quotes that I thought captured some part of the character's voice and history to help me remember who the character is and inspire me to continue to tell their tale. I made several graphics with quotes that aren't actually in the story, but fit the character so well that I knew I would work them in somehow.
Are there any random things you do for inspiration when you hit those dull, grey days?