1. Masked Mole
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    Masked Mole Contributing Member

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    "Epiphany Moments"

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Masked Mole, May 3, 2015.

    I was wondering if any of you have moments where you suddenly discover a great plot point for your book. Do you toil away to get an idea, or does it all come at once?
    Also, how quickly do you take action when inspiration hits? Do you immediately write down notes/write an outline?
    MM
     
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  2. VirtuallyRealistic
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    VirtuallyRealistic Active Member

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    Ideas hit me suddenly throughout the entire writing process. I'll be in the middle of a chapter and a great twist/plot point will hit me. It's quite exhilarating when something good hits you. It's not always relevant to that chapter, though. When it's not I just keep it in my head unless it's something complex. Then I might take some notes.

    I have tiers of folders that hold plot points, descriptions, etc. I'll be editing those throughout the process as more information is needed or as it comes to me. I generally keep the overarching plots in my head, though.
     
  3. TheWingedFox
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    TheWingedFox Active Member

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    I'm amazed sometimes that I think my story is all there, and suddenly I get a flash of explanation and a twist or new story arc. I think it's due to the characters. I love characters, and when you put yourself in their shoes, you suddenly think about what they would do, inspiration can come that way.

    Or just by observing the world around you. I pass the USA embassy under construction near Battersea power station every day, and suddenly one day I just thought....my God! This place will be amazing when it's finished, when the power station is redeveloped, the waterfront is ready, the rich apartments are built...and then I thought about starting a story now set in a few years when it is all done
     
  4. Lance Schukies
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    Lance Schukies Active Member

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    one thing that surprises me is I write something small but ties in with the situation, then latter that small thing helps me latter to give the story or character more depth, but I did not know it before , when you read about writers who say they let the characters write the book, I think it this type of thing.
     
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  5. Masked Mole
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    Masked Mole Contributing Member

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    I just experienced that today, in a way.
     
  6. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I love this thread! This is EXACTLY what happens to me, and what makes writing so much fun. I get these ephiphany moments when I'm not actually writing, when I'm out walking (a really good time for me) or sitting on a bus, or just waking up in the morning, or staring out a window. These kinds of times. These are big leap moments. They can often take the story in a direction I hadn't expected to take, but they feel absolutely right, and make so many otherwise unconnected details click into place.

    I make it a point to ALWAYS have a pen and notebook with me, and quickly scribble down the gist of my idea, or a scrap of dialogue that takes things to a new level. Without that notebook, inspirational ideas can get totally lost ...and that is immensely frustrating. The important thing I do next is refine the idea and stick it into a bunch of notes I keep on my computer. I keep these notes in rough chronological order, so whatever my idea was, I try to stick it into the correct place in my novel. I often sit down and read through all the notes, just in case I've forgotten some new twist. It's not so much an outline as a diary of ideas that grows with the story.

    This kind of big bang never seems to happen to me when I'm actually writing. Once in a while a character says or does something I didn't expect, but the big problem-solving plot ideas don't come while I'm writing. They come while I'm thinking. That's why I'm a big believer in taking breaks. Sometimes long breaks. The thinking-out process is every bit as important as the actual writing. As long as the writing gets done, it doesn't matter if it's done in fits and starts. And nobody needs to apologise or feel ashamed for not wanting to write to a schedule or write every day. That's just grinding out a daily count of words. Ideas are just as important, and may well come when you're not in front of your computer at all.
     
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  7. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Normally my best ideas come when I am walking about, but often by the time I get to a keyboard I'm either too tired or too distracted to make the most of it. I have epiphany moments, but often the idea itself seems great but ends up not working int he grand scheme.

    Although today on the train I thought of an interesting film idea that may be worth pursuing. It came about because I was trying to figure out a way to get away with murder, because these things are important as a creative writer, and then it dawned on me to write a story about a man plotting to kill his wife, and how he prepares, plans, and what is going on in their lives leading up to the final conclusion. A drama/ thriller.
     
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  8. VirtuallyRealistic
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    VirtuallyRealistic Active Member

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    "I was just walking around, thinking about murder." You may want to keep that to yourself. ;) haha, I'm just kidding.
     
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  9. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Dear Government and foreign governments that are monitoring words on the net, I am only figuring out logical sequences to make my fictional stories make sense and in no way would even contemplate harming another person or persons, unless they won't get out of my way when I'm getting off the train, because that makes me mad, and I may shove them aside and/or use expletives.
     
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  10. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I think these epiphanies come only after a long process - you think and think and come up with nothing and then even at times when you're not consciously thinking about your story, your mind is mulling away in the background, still trying to work out the story. Basically, time spent daydreaming about the story can be as necessary and productive as actually writing I think :)
     
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  11. Masked Mole
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    Masked Mole Contributing Member

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    Pretty much all of my big ideas come when I'm away from my computer as well. I have some good dialogue ideas while I'm writing, but all the major plot points come to me when I'm pacing around in my house.
     
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  12. AlcoholicWolf
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    AlcoholicWolf Contributing Member

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    I suffer frequently from nightmares, and I find that I have to write them down immediately if I'm awoken from them. One of my favourite stories came from a nightmare where I was trapped inside a house. It was pitch black, and I could feel things brushing against me as I walked through the darkness. Eventually I found a mass of huddled, grotesque humanoids at the very back of the building with blank staring eyes and skin like dried mud. The things brushing against me had been corpses suspended from the roof. So, yeah, dreams (especially bad ones) are a good source of stories.

    Then again, sometimes they're as simple as my car breaking down and costing me a fortune..
     
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  13. Masked Mole
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    Masked Mole Contributing Member

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    I aim to please. Especially when a member with an owl avatar will like it. It's like extra points.
     
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  14. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    I sometimes have epiphanies-in-reverse. That is, I will write a series of events within a story, and only later really come to understand how well they fit together and what deeper meaning they might have.
     
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  15. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    That's a 'yikes!' from me! I'd hate having nightmares like this ...but they would be tolerable if I could make a story out of them. But yikes, all the same. :eek:
     
  16. Megalith
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    Megalith Contributing Member Contributor

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    Right? If the government knew what happens when you trying to get to know your villains, the darkness of your thoughts and considerations... They might think we're all terrorist lol
     
  17. Anthony Graham
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    Anthony Graham New Member

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    It normally happens when I'm about to smash my computer and shout: "This is impossible!". Then suddenly I get the idea. But those kind of ideas always lead to something I'm not proud of compared to what you can make when having a peaceful mind.
     
  18. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    'Holy Crap' or 'OMG' moments.

    I love them! :)
     
  19. Vrisnem
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    It can happen either way for me. If I toll away on an idea for long enough the answer will eventually come to me in a "eureka!" moment but I much prefer the rush of an idea striking out of the blue.

    When an idea hits me ideally I'd like to write it down as fast as possible, but that's not always possible. Usually ideas hit when I'm walking, waiting somewhere, or generally doing something mundane - e.g. waiting rooms, public transport, grocery shopping, etc. If I've time then I'll make a note of it on my phone, otherwise I just need to wait until I get home.

    I'm very much the same. I've actually found writing to be a good way of shaking off recurring nightmares. Back in 2008 I had a recurring nightmare for around six months. In early 2009 I eventually gave in and decided to just write the damn scene out and it ended up becoming an 85k manuscript. It somehow succeeded in clearing my head of it.
     
  20. Commandante Lemming
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    Yeah usually I stumble on big "a ha" plot points when walking or something - but strangely enough sometimes I also get them while writing. the actual process of going through and making sure that scenes link together sometimes leads in unexpected directions, because you have to make it flow. Or going back the next day and thinking about what you've written and how it meshes together - I did that recently where I went back and re-wrote a scene to make one of the "spear-carrriers" more useful to the plot, so that I could use his interaction with a secondary character to mirror the surrounding scenes between my MC and her love interest. I'd originally written him as a stuffy old professor getting interviewed by one of my journalists for no good reason, while MC and love interest were getting to know eachother during the same chapters. Then after that I realized it would be a lot more fun to age down the professor and make him attractive to the other reporter, which gave me this fun dichotomy of having one scene with two people who hate eachother (MC and love interest) getting to like eachother, and another with two people (reporter and professor) who like eachother from the get go but slope downward really fast.

    There was another scene where mid-writing my MC dropped a random line about her ex-boyfriend ... who I knew about because I wrote her biography, but hadn't planned on mentioning, but thinking from her point of view, once I got her in a certain situation it forced her to think about him and so I had to deal with the fallout from that breakup.
     
  21. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I love the epiphany moment. It feels like you're taking the book to the next level. I don't toil but sometimes what I'll do is write with the first idea until the better idea comes. For instance I was writing a novel about an arrogant teacher falling for a moody student. I thought the novel would be about their tumultuous forbidden relationship and then bam! I had this scene come into my head - she asks him for money she's owed and he says what money? I as the writer have no idea why she's asking for money - worst neither does he. That's when it hits me - his diary ( it was written in diary form from his pov ) could be a lie. The relationship has been prettied up. Even better - because of the girl's high intelligence and hostile nature - what if she sees a weakness in him and exploits it. She's playing mind games with him. That's when the story really turned and everything clicked. But I had to write a lot to get to that point. Nothing wasted though.

    This also happened just recently I had been sitting on this idea ( House of Cadre ) like a hen waiting for life to stir and suddenly I had characters to go with the idea - and conflict. Yah!

    When this happens I write, I can't let the idea disappear. I use a note pad, my computer anything. And I love to put it in scenes. It doesn't matter if they won't make it into the story so long as I can develop a tone, a feeling that's all I really want. The scene has more impact on me than a dry statement. Instead of jotting down what if the girl is playing mind games - I write out a scene with her playing a mind game to get in that vibe.
     
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  22. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    I totally agree. Those are the best times, times when you are typing away and you actually stop and say to your character, "I did not know that!"

    And those times when you are just so gripped by what they are doing, it either makes you cry or your hands start to shake and you spell everything wrong.

    My book (and WIP) are based in NY and NJ but I recently had a new character tell me she's English! That was a bolt out of the blue.

    (Oh, God, I hope that's not just me!)
     
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