Thursday, February 17, 2011

Write Here Write Now: Tips for Writing on the Fly

Write Here Write Now
Tips for writing on the fly
Guest Post by Erin Bassett

I pull back on the gas pedal, eyes on the light ahead. Not my light. The cross street light. It has to be about to turn yellow. Has to be. It has to because I have a character conversation in my head and I have to get it down before it expands to where I can't keep up or I just forget it because traffic in DFW is crazy hectic.

Even with annoying a few cars behind me enough to whiz out from behind me the light goes to yellow, then red and I yank my iPhone out of my purse. This has happened so many times, with and without the help of the note feature of a smart phone, I've come up with a few simple tricks to help me get the words out when the muse strikes randomly.

(Ok, granted, most of us have smart phones now and I'm sure they all come with some sort of note equivalent. But, just in case you don't there are other options then endangering the lives of motorists around you or looking too much like a nut case.)

1. Utilize the record feature on your phone. Simple as hit record and start talking. Or invest in a recorder.  It’s very cathartic in a Hollywood scripter kinda of way, to speak your ideas into a machine.

2. Don’t have that feature or cant down load an ap or have a voice recorder? Leave yourself a message on your phone. I was able to do this a few times with my old Razor. And I just transcribed what I had when I got home. You also just look like you’re talking on the phone which is normalcy bonus.

3. Text yourself. But responsibly. Never while driving. But sitting waiting at the DMV, in line at the supermarket or anywhere where you aren't manning a multi-ton vehicle is perfectly acceptable.

4. Keep sticky notes in all the places where you find your muse likes to tease you the most. Driver side console, bedside table, bathroom...wherever they need to be. They can stick onto whatever is in front of you and that can really be a help.

The most important (at least for me) is: Always keep a notebook with you. The little moleskins are very popular, especially with the guys since you can literally slip it in your back pocket. I use the full size lined journal from Canson. Because of the not so far gone trend of huge purses I can fit it snuggly in my bag no problem. I am never without it. 

Happy (and safe) writing!

About the Author:
Erin Bassett is the author of Clock Work, an online serial that airs every 5th of the month. You can read it here.

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