Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Guest Post - Karen E Taylor - Hunger

Romancing Inspiration

By Karen E Taylor

During the virtual book tour for HUNGER, I've been asked a lot of questions, but one keeps cropping up and it's kind of hard to pin down. How do I get inspired? And what sort of habits/rituals do I have to do to write? I thought maybe I could elaborate a little more on my methods here in the hopes that it might help other writers get through that awful blank-page syndrome. You know, that thing we often call writer's block.

I know, we don't really like to call it that or even acknowledge its existence. But there it is. And when it hits, it's hard to pull up out of it. Sometimes, though, you just need to keep on going. Publisher deadlines don't care one bit about inspiration. So one of the tricks of being a published writer is learning how to coax the words to the surface, how to court inspiration. Here are a few things that work for me.

Neutralize your surroundings. If you are working in a room with a door, close it. Clear off any cluttered surfaces within your sight. Clean the monitor screen. Dim the lights so that you concentrate on the writing only.

Eliminate distractions. This is similar to the tip above, but just a tad more drastic. Turn off the internet. Yes, I said it. Turn it off! It's not enough to say to yourself won't use the internet you have to actively seek to disable it. Keep it as a reward for writing another page or another chapter. And while we're talking computer, try using your word processing program without toolbars. Even better, use a low tech system, like darkroom, or an early edition of almost any word processing package. Fewer bells and whistles will help you stay on track better. I have even turned off the monitor for a while and let my fingers find their way. Just be sure you're on the right keys starting out.

Set the right mood. If you're writing something dark and gothic, find a few ornaments to sit around your desk, gargoyles and ravens are always a good start. Drink your coffee (or water or tea or soda) out of an elegant cut-crystal wine glass, an ornate china cup, an engraved pewter goblet, or a large wooden mug, whatever best fits your book's environment. Light candles or use a scented product that reminds you of the beach or the forests or the wide open plains.

Slip into something more comfortable. No, really. Do it.

And last but not least -earphones. Even if you can't listen to music, something to block out external sound is essential. And if you can listen to music, pick songs (either instrumental or with lyrics) that fit your current project. I?ll admit to being a bit of a freak about this ? every thing I write has its own sound-track. With the earphones on and the music player set on constant play, I lose myself in the sounds and eventually the words start flowing.

And yes, I know that all of the previous sounds like setting the scene for seduction. That's exactly what you want to be doing romancing inspiration.

Deirdre Griffin didn't choose to be a vampire. But she is. And she's determined to make the most of her fate. For Deirdre that means surrendering to the raging hunger ignited by even the slightest whiff of blood ‑ a hunger that pulses through her body like a fever, demanding release. It means making friends in dark places ‑ and savouring every hot, salty, bitter, revitalizing drop of life force the night has to offer...


  1. Eliminate distractions. This is similar to the tip above, but just a tad more drastic. Turn off the internet. Yes, I said it. Turn it off!

    I enjoyed your post. Thank you for the reminder!

  2. Thanks, Jacqueline!