As the sun began rising in the east, I got out of bed, opened the French doors, and from my vantage point I look down and see a portion of the 17-mile drive, in Carmel. This time of the morning the ocean is calm, the air is crisp, and several miles out over the water a wall of fluffy white clouds are gathering.
I fill a pot with water and heat it for my favorite tea, turn on some music, and sit down at my computer. Hours later, when it's time to take a long break, I stop and see that I've typed over 3,000 words this morning.
When I wake from my dream, everything I had just imagined disappeared except for the teapot, music, and my computer. I believe every writer dreams of a place where he or she would like to escape for inspiration. However, for most of us, we usually sit in a room with four walls, where maybe there is a picture or two, some music, and a beverage, and we have a day job to go to. When all is said and done, the single most important element we all have in common is a writer's imagination.
The reason I began this post with my Carmelscape , is because of an exercise I do now and then. I sit down and write a short story, no longer than 2,000 words. I choose a character, a man walking his dog in the park, two people at the beach, a store clerk waiting on a customer, a police officer giving someone a ticket for jaywalking, etc. Then I choose if I want it to be a comedy, drama, love story, crime story, and begin to write.
Once completed, typing errors and all, I re-write it again, except with a minor change here or there. If it was a comedy, a re-write it as a drama, or a mystery, I change the plot of the story, while the characters and location remain the same. I can add new characters, but I never delete original characters. Off I go and when I reach 2,000 words, I stop.
Not to be complacent, I write a third variation of the same short story. I do this now and then to challenge the creativity that sometimes disappears. While searching and discovering, the last thing I would ever do is distract myself by listening to the radio or turning on the TV. I am not advocating this is for everyone, this is a form of improv, and I do it, to push my imagination because I'm a writer, so I write.