Wednesday, July 1, 2015

IWSG: Triggers

Welcome to another episode of How the Writer Turns, aka- The Insecure Writer's Support Group.  Once a month, writers from across the globe join forces to shout into the ether our hopes, dreams, and just whatever comes to mind (we're writers after all ;)).

Join us!

Today isn't really about anything I'm feeling insecure about.  I think insecurity is becoming such a regular state of mind I'm beginning to ignore it (folks ask me what my sales are and I just smile, shrug, and say "don't know!"- it's keeping me sane ;)).

So today I wanted to talk about triggers.  A few weeks ago I posted about where ideas come from. This is sort of an example of how those ideas become a major part of a story (plotters--you may want to stop reading now, this could hurt ;)).

I'm very mentally influenced by music as most folks are.  For writing I like listening to various movie trailer CD's. Not specific movies, just mostly random collections.  There was one that triggered a full battle scene in my space opera world.

A convent of military nuns, fighting for their lives.

My main character in that series, Vaslisha, had some tie to them, but I wasn't sure what. The song just totally captured the entire scene (don't ask me the song-LOL-it's on a blank labelled CD!). The fighting was there, the fear, the hopelessness.  The pain Vas felt while seeing it happen.

I made notes to add the scene to the second book (book one is in edits for a release sometime in 2016 ;)) and moved on.  Then another song, very similar to the first, just recently made another trigger.  That Vas's connection to these nuns was an important part of her past and a whole bunch of ways for it to be worked into book one (yes, the completed book one) slammed into my brain space.

I now have another aspect to weave into my story, a major plot point for book two, and ways to make book one even more powerful--all because of a few songs.

So keep paying attention and let your mind roam when you listen to music, you never know where it will lead you!

What have been some triggers for your writing?

Happy IWSG day!


  1. Isn't it fascinating to realize idea triggers can come in unusual ways. I can't write while listening to music with words. Instrumentals, okay. Somehow the words of the song confuse my writing brain. LOL Looks like you've found your magic trigger, Marie. Best wishes.

    Diane IWSG #99

  2. Sounds like you've got a handle on putting emotion into your writing. Passion is key.

    Here's my link if you'd like to drop by :-)

    Anna from Elements of Writing

  3. I used to listen to music all the time while writing, but got out of the habit of it. Sounds like I should break out a few of my old cds and start listening again.

  4. I'm one of the few writers who can't write to music. It will trigger scenes, but not always scenes of the story I'm working on.

  5. I can't listen to music anymore while I'm writing, but listening to the right kind of music before I begin writing can make all the difference.

  6. I have playlists that relate to books, but I don't listen to stuff while I write. But songs like AWOL Nations - Sail start playing, and in my mind, I see Cameron cutting down opponents as he approaches the sovereign's fortress. Or Pitbull/Ke$ha comes on with Timber, and I see Cera grabbing Molly and jumping off a building to flee the people shooting at them. And then Derek starts cracking his knuckles and rolling his neck as he stares down the attacking monsters whenever Radioactive by Imagine Dragons comes on.

    ...Yeah, I might have a few triggers.

  7. Love how the music inspired you. Me, too. But, I can't really listen to it when I'm writing. It distracts me. But, listening, and jotting ideas, now that I could do.
    Play off the Page

  8. For me, reading both fiction and non-fiction and also people-watching. Sometimes I'll get ideas from going out somewhere and overhearing or participating in a conversation where it's like - hey, that could be a good story.
    Interesting post and question. I love music too, but that's mostly while I'm writing.

  9. Songs can be writing inspiration. I've had certain playlists running as I write scenes, and to keep and overall tone sometimes.