I slept away most of last week because of an upper-respiratory infection. My illness didn’t require bed rest, but the meds made me drowsy. I spent awake time, listening to audio books and watching movies and TV reruns. After three complete seasons of NCIS, I’m sure I could perform an autopsy, sleep in a coffin, and drink Starbucks coffee 24/7.
The good news: I have lots of ideas for new stories and characters. Too often we forget to take inspiration from daily life—bits and pieces from strangers’ conversations, body movements of people engaged in an argument, hand gestures from someone in animated conversation. The list is endless. Use the bits of information to create believable and interesting characters and stories.
By watching the NCIS episodes, I learned to create a strange but lovable character without stereotyping (Abby). I can use a swagger and stare to show self-confidence (Gibbs) and beauty and small stature to take down the most violent criminals with one kick or a 9mm Sig (Kate). On the other side—the stereotype—Tony epitomizes the womanizing hunk, yet occasionally he lets down his guard to reveal compassion and empathy under his macho façade. When interrogating criminals he can be ruthless, first convincing criminals he is an incompetent, uncaring, funny guy and then turning on the criminals so that he, the interrogator, appears psycho.
This week, I’m playing catch-up with a couple writing deadlines, but as I work, new stories are beginning to form in my mind. Perhaps having a week to rest is a good thing. I encourage you to take a break from your usual creative process to inspire new ideas.
Take the challenge to rejuvenate your creative muse—Write Now!