Saturday, August 11, 2012

Why I Take Long Showers


                I take long showers, guys. My family gives me grief for it, but I myself am at peace, for one very important reason.

A high, high percentage of my story-related epiphanies come to me while I’m in the shower. Or brushing my hair, or riding in the car, or anything routine where my mind can flutter where it wants…which is usually straight to my WIP.

                Still, sometimes just ‘waiting’ for ideas to land isn’t enough. So I’m going to share something only slightly embarrassing that I do. Often. Repeatedly.

                I interview myself.

                Under the premise that my current WIP has been published. Or optioned for the film rights. Or in some other way has been successful.

                I pretend I’m talking to a reporter/blogger, or taking questions at a book signing, or (perhaps most embarrassingly) telling the cast of the WIP movie exactly what they need to know about each character so they can play them the way I’d always imagined.

                … I swear this isn’t just to boost my ego, guys.

                It makes me think about my story.

                It makes me ask questions—ones that would potentially be asked by people who are not me.

                “Why did you write [THIS] the way you did, instead of this way?”

                “What purpose does [CHARACTER] serve in the story?”

                “What makes [SO-AND-SO] a good couple?”

                “What is your secret ship? If your MC wasn’t with [CHARACTER], who might they have ended up with?”

                Asking myself things about the story, and characters, and all the different connections taking place under the surface… It makes me search for answers.

Answers deeper than “Because I needed it to be this way.” or “Because it was the first thing I thought of.”

It gets me into character’s mindsets. It makes me think about what makes my characters who they are. And why they do things, and how we got to this point, and all the MOTIVATIONS that I love so much.

And okay. It might also be for my ego. A little.

But I’ll share my thoughts on that in the next post.

Am I the only one who does this? (Please say no) What would you ask yourself in an interview? Where do your best ideas come from?

Also, guys, I’m sure interviewing yourself could work just as well OUT of the shower—perhaps even better because then you can write down everything instead of trying to remember it by the time you get out. Just sayin’ what works for me. ;D


  1. I get most of my ideas before I go to sleep. I have a minor case of insomnia, so I usually have a good solid 45 minutes(up to 2 hours, when it gets bad) of lying in bed, in which I can imagine scenes like a movie and stop whenever I hit a logic problem, then begin again with the solution I came up with. =) When I hit a problem I can't solve, or I just have a sense that there's a problem and I can't for the life of me figure out what it is, I pray, lol, and then I usually have a solution soon afterwards. And then I'm like 'THANK YOU, JESUS' and keep imagining. XD I always fall asleep, of course, but I generally wake having figured out something useful. ^_^

    Aaand…no. I don't really interview myself. Not like that, anyway. I ask myself questions like, "So why did you decide to put the solid-gold swimming pool in a glass enclosure, rather than outside?" to which I answer, "To keep the bugs out." XD

    1. Nice, lol. I'm not sure I have insomnia? But I DO think a lot when falling asleep. However, that's usually when I indulge myself with cliche-ridden daydreams and in-my-head fanfiction, just for fun. XD

    2. Haha. I like this term "self-interview". I'm the same, but I usually call it "talking to myself like a crazy person."
      As for sleep, I hardly ever sleep, and when I do, I wake up having sent mad stories to my email via my phone...

    3. Lol, there is NO shame in talking to yourself like a crazy person... Right? XD

      I didn't say I got a LOT of sleep... ;)

  2. Ohh, I interview myself far too much. >_< Usually it makes me think about my story in more broad terms, though--like theme and tone and stuff like that, because the interviewer (or class tutor. Sometimes I do it like I'm in class having to explain my writing because that happens, and too often I can't think of anything intelligent to say) asks things like, "Why did you take the story in this direction?" or "What's the overall feeling behind your work?"

    And a lot of my writing epiphanies come from my paper round. I deliver papers on several streets around my house and it takes about two hours to do the whole thing. They're very quiet streets, and I often do them in the evening when no one else is about, and I plug in my MP3 player so I can't hear anything and it's like the music is the soundtrack to the sky, and because the action is so monotonous, it's kind of like a waking dream where I think of all things at once.

    1. I think that's a good way to put it--'thinking about the story in more broad terms'. It's good for narrowing down things like theme, because you're really thinking about how you want your work to come across to people. :)

      That's great about the paper round. I've gotten ideas while mowing the lawn before, so I totally understand. :)

  3. First of all, I do a lot of plotting and such in the shower, too! And, um, I've also interviewed myself :)

    Second of all, you've been tagged in the Be Inspired Bloghop Meme! Info on my blog :)

  4. YES! Haha, just so glad to find someone else who interviews themselves, too. It's such a great way for thinking about your story from a different perspective and digging deeper into the motivations of your characters and how things fit together.

    I get most of my ideas by mulling them over aloud or in the shower, which can be so annoying — especially when I think of a great dialogue snippet and haven't even put in conditioner yet!

    1. Oh, I know what you mean. Sometimes I have to replay a bit of conversation like three times before I get out, just to be sure I remember it...

      Other times I remember the epiphany two days later. XD

      As long as it gets written down somehow, I'm good. ;)

  5. I'm so glad that I'm not the only one who does this! I waste so much water just standing (or sitting!) in the shower. Usually that's when most ideas or plot bits hit me, mainly because I don't have a pen on hand so it's testing my memory a bit!

    Another place I like to pretend I'm being interviewed is in the car. Home for me is three hours away from where I go to uni, so when I travel down over holidays and weekends, I tend to have writer's moments in the car. Especially when I'm by myself. I've taken to even bringing a voice recorder so that I don't forget my ideas - or the 'conversations' I'm having as if I'm a character in one of my books!

  6. I totally do the interviewing thing. ALL. THE. TIME. It really does help!