Tag Archives: imagination

Inspiration By Free Association

11 Sep
Isaac Asimov Quote

Isaac Asimov Quote (Photo credit: Psychology Pictures)

Isaac Asimov is widely regarded as one of the fathers of science fiction, and as one of the better writers in recent history. He was also one of the most prolific authors ever. He wrote hundreds upon hundreds of short stories, dozens of novels… I could go on. A lot, basically. One of his most recognized accomplishments was without a doubt the Foundation series. If you haven’t read that, then A, what have you been doing all your life, and B, go read it now. Seriously. Right now.
Besides being a generally brilliant author and fount of creativity, Asimov also had a useful tool which he used often. Inspiration by free association. He once said that he would open a book in two or three places, choose a few words at random, and build a plot based on those words.
There’s method to Asimov’s madness. Being stuck usually means that you have absolutely no idea where to start, but the actual starting point is not necessarily important in itself. So free association can often get you kick-started in a direction you would never have thought of.
Next time you want to write something but haven’t the faintest clue where to begin, try Asimov’s trick. Open a book and choose some words. Inspiration by free association. It even rhymes – what more can you ask for?


20 Jun

So, I’m always up for different ideas that I can use to tickle my inspiration.  Sometimes they end up taking me places I didn’t plan on going, sometimes they make me realize that there are some topics I just can’t chase very far.

I buy books, I hound websites, and I just start writing about random things.

One of my favorite trilogies is Your First 1,000 Days in Writerspark/ Your First 2,000 Days in Writerspark/ Your First 3,000 Days in Writerspark.  Three years’ worth of prompts in each book!  These books were based on a Yahoo Group “Writerspark”.

The fabulous news is, the moderator of the group is back and they are, once again, accepting new members!  This morning, I got a deluge of new prompts!  I’m avidly looking forward to prompts showing up in my email box every day!  I’m just as avidly looking forward to being able to stretch my edges and explore ideas I might not have been able to come up with on my own.

I’m wading through the new prompts, pulling them into my own PDF so I can take them with me on my tablet device and write when I have a few minutes to stretch.

How about you?  Where to you get ideas when you need to find new ways to exercise your writing muscles?  To come up with angles on things that are a little different than what you are used to?

This Yahoo group is supportive and will provide constructive critiques for writing samples if anyone wants to take a chance on it.

As for me, I’m going to venture forth and write about my desk!

Exercise #3740

The Desk

Compose a piece of no more than 750 words that shows the contents of a desktop in such a way that the images provide a sense of the person who uses the desk.


29 May
By Nesher Ehrman 
Oh hearken now and listen well
To the dismal tale I will now tell
Of a thing behooved of fickle feature
IMAGINATION – wily creature
From her emerge ideas and plots
Woven stories, domestic knots
All not-real and all made-up
When supping IMAGINATION’s cup
An author who bends and and sweats at his work
Creating the plight of a hero named Dirk
He calls to his muse, that she may inspire
To her he prays to start the fire
Like gems dredged up from crystal ball
Ideas come forth, they may not stop
The lifeblood of stories, each ruby drop
No matter the language, or of what nation
The bones are the same – it is creation
But no matter the name, or what it is called
IMAGINATION is fickle, a crone all enshawled
Sometimes you sit, and write for a spell
Nothing more trivial than story to tell
But hold dear these rare times, they come not often
IMAGINATION is harsh, and seldom to soften
To me this rhyme, these words, the whole
Where I beg for ideas, I whine and cajole
To me in my head, I play slave to her master
She is but an idea, but I write all the faster
This poem does not make too much sense. It makes sense to me in my head and that’s what important. It requires some IMAGINATION of your own to understand what it means to you. To see other (more comprehensible) poems and stories, feel free to visit nesherehrman.wordpress.com/

Making Friends With Your Writer’s Block

11 May

We have all struggled with Writer’s Block. The times when you know you need to be writing or you should be writing but you sit and you stare at the nothing on the page. It’s frustrating and scary.
I know that you had to have heard all kinds of advice on getting past, or through, writer’s block. And to some degree, I’ve tried almost all of them. To some degree, most have gotten me through some tough spots. But, in reality, I’ve found one that seems to work very well for me.
I’ve made my Writer’s Block into its own character. He doesn’t have a place in any book that I am working on, although that has even crossed my mind. Rather than looking on him as an adversary, I’ve embraced him; given him a voice.
Draco Imaginaria (thanks goes to Google Translate, it is Latin for Imaginary Dragon) is a lavender dragon with random multicolored scales scattered around his diminutive frame who is ageless, wears thick glasses, and is sometimes friendly and sometimes confrontational. He has been bullied (he IS a lavender dragon who wears glasses) much of his life. He’s pretty good at typing, despite being a dragon.
Whenever I find myself unable to get going with writing when I know I need to be getting words on the page, I open a text editor and pretend that it is a chat window. I talk to Draco and I think about the things that he might (or might not) say to me. When he is silent, sometimes I just type obscenities at him. He doesn’t judge. I don’t have to worry about sentences or even real words. And he doesn’t hold it against me later. He just eats the obscenities and adds them to his lexicon. He lives on words. That’s where my words go when I can’t find them to make up the work that I need to be doing. He has eaten them: all of them. If I feed him enough (because maybe I hadn’t been feeling him sufficiently lately so he is stealing them from my mind) or I feed him the words that he is hungry for, the words I’m looking for begin to flow naturally again. When he is argumentative, I argue back. Sometimes I win, sometimes he wins, but in the end, because he is mine, we both win.
Sometimes I talk to him when I’m angry or when I’m trying to puzzle through a plot line or a poem. Not really because I’ve actually hit writer’s block, but because I’ve come to respect his opinion on things. He is, after all, my own voice (I’m creative, not necessarily crazy). Sometimes all it really takes is not thinking about what I’m “supposed to be” thinking about to trigger what I need to have triggered. And I’ve managed to actually put in some writing time.
I always save these conversations, which is why I carry them out in a text editor, so I CAN save them. Later, I can go back over them and maybe use pieces and parts of the conversation as ideas for other work or dialog in something I’m working on.
It isn’t always about using the tools that other people have found work for them. Sometimes it is about embracing your own tools and making them work for you.
So tell me, what is your Writer’s Block’s name? Is he a cat or is she a unicorn? Describe him, make her come to life. Embrace the silly and the unusual and see if maybe you can’t make your writer’s block work for you!

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