Monday, October 5, 2015

# On Writing # Post

Weird Writing Tip #7- Write in Your Sleep

The fourth in a series of Weird Writing Tips that have helped me craft that wacky thing we call "fiction".

Write in Your Sleep

This is a tip I learned very early on in my career, and, I might add, completely by accident.

When I was new to fiction, I would do creative writing exercises on the fly to hone my skills. Whether I was in the car, sitting at work, or eating at a restaurant, I would challenge myself to describe the setting or make mental or literal notes about interesting people and conversations. As I am rather a dedicated sort, I found myself doing this A. Lot. After a few weeks or so of this constant mentality, my brain became programmed to stay in "writer mode" even when I was busy doing something else. Eventually, I realized that little machine in the corner of my mind would even crank away at night, while I was asleep.

 The weird tip is: Teach your brain to work out plot details and plan the next scene while you sleep.

Here's how to do this:

Get into the habit of spending that last few minutes before you drift off to sleep prepping for the next day's writing. Read what you've got outlined for the following day (if you're a planner). Think about where you left off. Imagine your next scene. Contemplate that sticky plot issue that you haven't figured out how to resolve. If you are between projects, invent a new character or dream up random title ideas.  In short, spend those few remaining moments loading up your brain with writing energy. Then go to sleep and let your subconscious mind go to work sorting out the info. You may soon start to find you wake up with a solid direction for your next scene, ways to resolve plot holes, new story ideas, and more. Keep a notepad beside your bed for sudden inspiration that you don't want to forget.

One nice bonus to this is that it gives a writer so many more hours in the day. When you can literally plot in your sleep, you're freeing up that many more waking hours for actually getting words onto the page.

Have fun, and have at it!

On select Mondays, I like to gab about writing or whatever's going on with me. For more gab, please join me on Twitter or Facebook. I love talking to people!

J. Rose Allister is the author of more than twenty-five books, primarily romance and erotic romance. A former editor and submissions director, she now works as a mild-mannered hospital secretary by day, naughty writer by night.

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