Monday, October 6, 2014

The Sleep-on-it Solution

Ana muses about writing scene transitions

I have not yet mastered the art of inserting an emoticon in my WIP where the right words have not come and skipping ahead in the story. I guess this outs me as a linear thinker.

I am recognizing how this slows my daily word output and am now searching for a pleasing and meaningful symbol to use.

Take yesterday. I cooked all morning for early afternoon lunch company and played with the granddaughter who'd slept over. I visited and then washed dishes. Still familiarizing myself with my new laptop, I drop boxed my WIP and got it downloaded. Then I had an hour to myself.

I was stuck on the scene transition where the heroine is bamboozled into making the run into town for more fenceposts. (My story is a historical western. The hero has corralled her family into helping him buy her fancy dress for the upcoming dance. They want him to fall for her (he is) and stay permanently. He's trying to get on their good side so he can convince them to sell their ranch to him.)

I labored over the transition until I knew I'd do better with my fall-back solution:  Sleep-on-it.

It worked! I woke up at 5 am with the answer. Even more exciting is being able to take my laptop to work. Late afternoons are often quiet, even during our busy season. Starting today, I'll be able to write   effectively. I wrote the first draft of this WIP at work on a now-dead desktop. It's be like old-home week.


  1. Ana, I get some of my best ideas while drifting off to sleep. I think our brain's need a break from everything else to exhibit creativity. That's awesome!

  2. I'm like Jen, and get the perfect words for my hero or heroine to say - just when I'm drifting off to sleep. Never in the morning, as my brain is far too sluggish then!
    Regarding transitions, I blogged about this in mid-September, and it has taken me from then until now to get my characters from Monday evening to Friday! All because, at this particular point in the story, it wouldn't have worked simply to say, 'A few days later' or even 'by the end of the week'.

  3. Sometimes the best ideas come to us when we stop thinking about the problem, right?! :)

  4. Before I fall asleep, I pose the problem and then let my subconscious delve for the answer. This seems to work best for me.

    1. I'm sure my mind switches off its creativity when I'm asleep! It can create weird and wonderful dreams but none, as far as I recall, have ever been about any of my stories.