Yesterday (it's still 11:59 pm as I start this, so it is still yesterday!) I talked about where or how I found my initial ideas for novels - about that first spark of inspiration that grips you and refuses to let go.
Unfortunately, that spark is not enough to get a novel. You have to develop the idea into a complex plot with three-dimensional characters in a believable setting. And that takes a lot of ideas, and a lot of thinking.
So where do you get those ideas?
It's a bit different now that I have something to work from. I described my plotting process in more details early on, in a post I called Unraveling the Plot. Basically, I keep asking questions (mostly why), answering them, and then asking questions about the answers I just gave.
Sometimes, though, the answers won't come easily. What do I do then? How do I get out of this inspiration block? In a way, I guess I just let it rest in the back of my mind until something comes up. With time I noticed there were moments where inspiration came more easily, though. Here's a list!
1. Chores. Whether I'm doing the dishes, cleaning up my bedroom or gathering all the leaves in my backyard (there's a lot of them), when I'm working a mindless task, novel ideas seem to assault me. This is good, because otherwise I'd never clean my room!
2. Walking. I have to walk 20 minutes every morning to get to the University, and 20 minutes back. Trust me, this is by far the most idea-inducing period of my days. When I'm stuck in corner, whether while plotting or writing, I often go out to take a walk. It's just a shame the weather won't allow it year-long.
3. Classes. Hum... yeah. I won't say more about that one. Just that sometimes, I am writing things down during classes, and they are not biochemistry notes.
4. Waking up. I'm a snooze person. I set my alarm an hour earlier than I need to, and snooze it every 10-20 minutes. This gets me in a semi-sleeping stage that does wonder for my novels. I think only walking works better than this!
So these are my little daily times where I get ideas and develop my plot. This is when I do my thinking. What about you guys? Any times of the day you seem more inclined to think about your novel?