GOING FOR A WALK

Good afternoon.  My name is Gigi.  I am a parti-poodle.  I also own a novelist.  Today in our continuing series my novelist is going to talk to you about taking walks.  She is an excellent dog walker and does not pull too hard on the leash.  She exerts patience when I stop to sniff at things which interest me like grass, flowers and bushes.  She is well trained in remembering to give me a premium treat after my walk, usually a canine sandwich cookie with a chocolate-like wafer top and a vanilla-like wafer bottom…or a vanilla bottom and a chocolate top depending on your point of view.  Some dogs may like to separate the cookie and lick the cream filling inside, but I prefer to nibble at mine whole after which I curl up on the couch on my plush blanket and doze.  So, without further ado, here’s my novelist.   

One of the most challenging enigmas a writer can face is figuring out what to write about.  The answer is always this: unless it’s a paying gig write what fascinates you.  So, how do you decide on a topic that will fascinate you enough to be married to it for at least a year? 

This what I did.  I made a list of loglines…a long list of loglines.  Some people may tell you to sit down, bang your head and crank out a hundred log lines at a desk.  This strategy is daunting and painful.  I found a better way to accomplish the task was to walk.  I accumulated a list of two hundred log lines by taking a daily walk as often as I could.  I walk for about an hour.  Not on the treadmill.  Outside.  My mind works better if I walk outside. 

However, if you live in an area that is not safe enough to take a walk outside don’t do it.  In that case do use a treadmill if you have access to one.  Or if you can walk inside somewhere like a mall or a gym or a Costco.  Whatever way you walk do not walk with headphones on or involve yourself in some other distraction such as your phone.  Walk around aware of your surroundings.  It will help you think better, and it will be safer.   

A logline, in case you are wondering, is a sentence (or sometimes two) which introduces the lead character (without using their name), their goal and the antagonist who stands in their way of achieving their goal.  The point is essentially to present the idea of your story and keep it brief.  One example from my list is:  A criminal mastermind is ostracized by his peers when he enlists a lap dog for his pet instead of a cat.  The criminal mastermind is the protagonist.  His peers are the antagonist.  His goal is to own a lapdog instead of a cat.  A completely different log line would be:  A deceased man struggles to find a way to come back to life to prevent his teenage daughter from committing suicide

On every walk I challenged myself to come up with one new idea, one logline before the hour was up and the walk was over.  I did it every day I could until I had a list of over a hundred log lines.  And then I kept going till I had two hundred.  On some walks I was creative enough to come up with two and sometimes three log lines.  But this was the exception not the rule.  As soon as I finished a walk, I wrote the idea I had in my notebook.  The best notebooks I’ve found to write in, especially if you can keep them in one place and not port them around are Black n’ Red hard cover case bound.  I use the large size.  They lay flat, do not have perforation and hold up very well.  If I do have to port around a notebook, I use Black n’ Red twin spiral small poly cover notebooks which work well except they do have perforation.  As a writer I don’t like perforated notebooks because I like to keep all my work together.

After I completed my logline collection, I went over it to see what log lines popped out for me. The way you know you have your next story is when the idea won’t leave you alone. The logline that keeps popping out amongst all the others is the one to use to write your next story.

I’ll post every Thursday.  That’s the schedule.  While you’re waiting for my next post check out my novel Chicane currently available on Amazon.