Sue Viders is the author of more than 25 books, articles and
columns for both artists and writers. Her book Heroes and
Heroines, Sixteen Master Archetypes, is used in many colleges and universities from creative
writing programs to screen writing courses, while 10 Steps to
Creating Memorable Characters is gaining use as a practical workbook for writers who want to further
develop their characters.
Her latest product for writers is Deal
a Story; an interactive
card game consisting of 101 cards and six sections and is based on her Heroes
and Heroines book. She
also teaches on-line writing classes.
a work in progress, The Building Blocks of Nonfiction, is a six booklet series for writers
on nonfiction. The first one, almost finished, is Block
One, The Idea. It will be an ebook and will be
free. Watch for it.
why do flashes of genius happen while you are sleeping, yet vanish when you
The scientific answer: The brain often
processes and reconstructs frustrating daytime problems allowing new insights
to be reached while a person is asleep. Waking up simply turns the mind off and
switches it back to normal everyday thinking.
unscientific answer: It just happens.
Some of my very best epiphanies
occur at 3 a.m. Half awake or maybe half asleep, my gray cells have been
busy working on my problem and found a unique solution for my heroine to use in
my latest mystery story. A solution I had been unable to come up with during
Yet when I get up in the morning, the
images are gone, vanished in a puff of smoke as though they never
existed. Oh, a blurred outline of the image rattles around in my brain,
but usually not enough to make any sense. And those ideas that do make it to
the paper or computer suddenly don’t seem so wonderful.
A flash of inspiration struck.
I borrowed my husband’s old tape
recorder. That night, at bedtime, I carefully put the recorder on the
nightstand so all I had to do was reach out, grab it, turn it on and
talk. In theory it should have worked. However the problem with theories
is that while they sound good, they usually don’t work as planned.
First night the damn thing fell on the
floor. By the time I got out of bed and groped around in the dark, I didn’t
want to turn on the light and wake my husband, not only was I wide awake but I
couldn’t remember a damn thing. The solution to the murder was gone.
Next night I put the recorder under by
pillow. Smug. This would work. Yes, it worked. Turned it self on as I moved and
twisted the pillow in my sleep and the damn battery died.
Okay, maybe the recorder wasn’t such a
great idea after all.
Falling back on the tried and true
method writers have used throughout the ages, I put paper and pencil on the
nightstand. However as I reached for the pencil the water glass tipped over.
While mopping up the water before it had a chance to soak into the carpet, I
realized the once again the story in my head had vanished.
The final solution was a bed caddy.
Those neat cloth holders that slip between the mattress and the box springs and
have several pockets. I clipped a small night light on the paper pad. In
another pocket I store several pencils.
Now I have it down to a science. Wake
up, take a fast trip to the john, all the while repeating the idea or insight
over and over in my mind or even saying it out loud until I get back in bed,
take out the clipboard, turn on the light and write.
if someone out there in writing land has a better way to capture these 3am
ideas please let me know.
The Complete Writer's Guide to HEROES & HEROINES,
SixteenMaster Archetypes - ISBN - 1 - 58065-024-4
©2000 - Lone Eagle Publishing Co. Authors - Sue Viders, Tami D. Cowden
and Caro LaFever
10 Steps to CREATING MEMORABLE CHARACTERS - ISBN -10: 1-58065-068-6 © 2006 - Lone Eagle Publishing Co. Authors -
Sue Viders, Lucynda Storey, Cher Gorman and Becky Martinez
DEAL A STORY - Cards -
no ISNB needed - © 2008 - Robert D. Reed Publishers - Author - Sue Viders
THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF NONFICTION...six ebooklets on the fundamentals of writing nonfiction.
Post a comment on my blog by June 1 and your name will be entered in a drawing for one of my trivia books. Three names will be drawn, one for each book.