21 October 2009

Nano and Beyond: Making It Shiny

So, on her blog yesterday Liana started making a list of ‘Shiny’ – things that she’s drawn to that she can randomly insert in books to give them a bit of a lift.

I had to laugh, for two reasons: one is that this is exactly what I’ve been telling myself I need to do, lately. I’ve been going through a novel slump, in large part because my brain is so occupied with getting through my final term (ever! *cheers*) of university, but also in part because none of my novels are holding my interest. They start out fun and exciting, but somehow in the writing of them I begin to bore myself – and a lot of my readers drop out at around chapter 10. Not because there’s anything wrong, per se – but rather because there just isn’t enough right.

I came to the conclusion that I needed to work more on adding ‘shiny’ to every scene, rather than getting caught up with getting the scene to just do its job in advancing the plot, and move on. Which just goes to show that plot isn’t everything.

Because of all this, I’ve been playing with short stories a lot lately – it suits my scatterbrained attention span, and it’s a good way to practice keeping up the shiny.

The second reason I laugh is because what is a list of shiny if not exactly a Sweet Spot Map? Why, oh why, did it not occur to me to break out the Map earlier in my quest for Things That Shine?

*laughs at self* :)

So, my own list of shiny, drawn from both my SSM's and the deep dark depths of my brain ;)

* The smell of bread (or anything else) baking
* Rainbows, rich colours
* Puzzles, puzzle boxes, mazes
* Parasites (they give me the creeps)
* Interplay of light on surfaces - through glass, on water, with sparkly stuff
* Water - droplets, oceans, streams - the sound of it, rushing, trickling, raining
* Animals - mammals, amphibians, cephalopods ;)
* Snow crystals
* Sunshine
* Anything equine
* Magic tattoos
* Falling stars
* Pretty much anything weather-related
* Maps
* Dreams and sleep and the subconscious
* The smell of rain
* Trees, gemstones

So, how about you? Give me some of your Shiny!

4 comments:

Merc said...

I have lots and lots of shiny. Maybe one day I'll make a list.

- gears / mechanical things (clockwork anything)
- coats (especially long leather coats)
- claws and scales
- fire
- shadows
- feathers (wings)
- glass
- mazes
- bones

The more included in one story, the better. O:)

Angela said...

Merc did not include zombies or flamethrowers, so I say she is an imposter!!

My shinies:

the sound of leaves
the taste of lemons
moonlight
the sound of squirrels in the trees
the warm comfort of a mug cupped between palms
freckles

arlee bird said...

Okay, I took the bait. Checking out the links to the various sites and looking at the comments, I did see what I would perceive to be a lot of female type thinking here. Not a criticism! And trust me I'm no overly macho guy and I am sensitive and sentimental in many ways. I could identify with a lot of the "shiny" on some lists: dreams-- definitely a big inspiration, especially if they are scary and weird. And I did like some of the suggestions like spriral staircases, maps, and water -- and dirigibles was pretty cool.
Here's my memory stirring inspirations:

Roads and traffic sounds
Rivers
Mountains
Tools
Women
Bookshelves filled with books
Newspapers
Menudo and how it tastes kind of good but smells like a barnyard.
Psychotropic substances
Tenements
Apocalypse
God and the Bible

Did I get anywhere near the concept or did I miss the point entirely?

Lee

Inkblot said...

Merc - Awesome. Fire, shadows, glass, mazes - definitely on my list too.

Angela - Oh! The sound of leaves! So yes! And moonlight B-)

Arlee - Nothing wrong with adding some male perspective! :D *checks out your list* Mm, rivers, mountains and apocalypse get added to my list too >:) And yes, you did great :D

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