Writing the first line of your book can be pretty daunting, just as putting the first stroke on a white canvas can be scary. The thing to remember is that the first word you type can easily be deleted and rewritten; the most important thing to do is write, and everyday, even if you only manage to write a little bit. I find that on the days that I cannot write a lot, or even a little, it is important to ‘stay in touch’ with my book. That doesn’t mean send it a postcard or text from wherever I am, it means reread what I’ve got so far, and therefore the plot stays fresh in my mind.
Another important point about writing in this modern world of ours is that writing can be performed anywhere. Countless times I see people bringing their laptops into coffee shops so they can catch up on work or even write while sipping a tasty beverage. But you don’t even have to take your laptop anywhere these days, as smart phones have perfectly good notepads supplied on them. I now write on the bus as I travel to my day job, on my breaks, on my lunch, and then when I’m on the way home. This way I get a good chapter finished during a day. Some people might struggle with the noise and distraction around them, but I personally thrive on it and I even find it helps bring a reality to the world in which my characters live. In fact, I struggle to write at home when I’m surrounded by peace and quiet. Does anything thrive in a vacuum?
Now I come to the actual point of this post, and that’s inspirational music. I know lots of writers like to listen to music when they write, especially if it’s music that gets the blood pumping. But I prefer using music in a different, and I think, more inspirational way, and that is by using it to visualise scenes.
What I do is pick a song or piece of music as a theme for my particular book, then I listen to it once I’ve started writing. But not while I’m physically writing. Usually I pick a time when I’m at my day job, when I can switch off and listen to that particular heart pumping song. What I do then is imagine my book as if it’s been turned into a BBC crime drama. I pick the actors I would like to portray my characters and then I start visualising them in the scenes I’ve already written or ones I’m yet to write.
I find this process not only helps me visualise the scenes I’m going to write, but helps me come up with the rest of the plot. Have you seen the gripping trailers the BBC put together for their latest crime dramas, such as the series Luther? I sit, and imagine what my latest book would be like as a trailer for a crime drama. The next thing I know, I’m writing away, feeling the surge of writer’s rush, coming up with new plot twists. Go on, give it a go, it just might work for you if you’re struggling to write.