Writers are the great close observers of everything that happens in our world. The quality of the light filtering through the window in winter; the glint of the moon on snow; the sound the wind makes in empty branches; the adhesive sound of tires on wet pavement. All these observations are small images that can become pieces of a story.
“The strongest fiction, for me as a reader, is that which allows me to create it in my head and, as a writer, I like to give the reader as much control as possible — I think that’s where the real pleasure lies.” Moore’s trust of the abstract is often where she finds the seeds of story ideas. “The glimmer of a beginning: the facial expression of someone in a café or the way light hits a landscape, it can be enough to get me started.”
These “glimmers of a beginning” surround us in our daily life, but how can we keep track of them? It’s time to get out your trusty digital or good old-fashioned notebook.
Keep an analog or digital notebook
These days, most people don’t go very far without a smartphone. If you’ve got a smartphone, we highly recommend Simperium’s Simplenote, an awesome little clutter-free app for Mac, iOS, Android, and Kindle designed to take notes wherever you are.
If you’ve been successful resisting the smartphone crowd up until this point, carry a small notebook and pen around with you.
Take time out of your day to try and observe your surroundings and make a point of documenting three “glimmers of a beginning,” from different points in your day. By making a habit of close observation, you’ll soon have a collection of story starters at your disposal that you can mine when inspiration has run off to Saskatchewan with your muse, allowing you to keep writer’s block at bay.