Monday, 26 March 2012

Monday's Food for Thought

Ever had the same dream as someone else on the same night? I have.

Think about it. Think about it. Think how crazy it is, that the same images and actions can be performed in the subconscious of two completely different individuals.

When I was a kid I had a nightmare that a snowman was chasing me through the construction site of a massive hut in an unknown village. My friend, who was sleeping over at the time, was in the dream, as was my dog. I woke abruptly and sat up in my bed to find my friend sitting up too, staring back at me.

Turns out, our dreams had been exactly the same except for one detail - I was in the lead during the chase in my dream, while she was in the lead in hers.

We hadn't watched any movies about snowmen or huts or anything the previous day. There was nothing I could link the dream to. And yet, we'd both seen the same thing in our minds.


Someone told me once that the consciousness stretches out of the body during sleep, and if you're in tune with someone nearby, the two can mesh and cause the same dream. Load of rubbish? Possibly. But...

WHAT IF it was real? What if part of your mind really did hover over your body during sleep? What if there were laboratories to monitor such movement? What if that part of you could detatch from your body? Could you roam about at night, meshing with other people's conscious? Or enter into different realms of existence?

If you needed a way to throw a character into another world, this is an interesting way to do it.

Just a little something for your Monday mind to munch on.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Survival Guide to the Rest Period

Now that the second (and a half) draft of my WiP is complete, it's essential that I put it away for a period of time. I'm sure you've all been there before - that break you need to take so you can come back to the ms with fresh eyes.

But putting down a story can be hard. I know it, you know it. It's good. Agents will drool at the (already-written) query letter. It wouldn't hurt to rush it off to betas or - god forbid - send a few nibbly queries out, right? Right?

Put on the brakes.

You only get one chance to make a first impression with this ms. It doesn't hurt to wait. I'll say it again: it doesn't hurt to wait. Polish it up and let it sparkle before you let it out into the world. If you need inspiration, read the waiting that Marissa Meyer endured as she patiently went through several drafts and revisions of CINDER. She knew it was a stellar story, but she didn't jeopardise her chances of getting an agent by sending it out too early. It was worth it in the end, wouldn't you agree? And your book will be worth it too.

To help you along, here are some ways to keep yourself busy while you let that story sit:

1. Do those things that you've been putting off while writing. Clean the bathrooms. Take the dog for a walk. Have a shower. You know, that less important stuff.

2. Catch up with friends, who probably haven't seen you since you typed the first word of the first draft.

3. Make a dent in that never-ending TBR pile of books.

4. Write another story - either a brand new WiP, or if that's too much for your brain to handle, try a short story or revamp an old shelved ms.

5. Throw yourself into your (real life) work. For example, if you're a teacher, maybe do some actual marking and (gasp) lesson plans.

6. Visit your family. Yeah, remember them?

7. Plan your next holiday. See if you can design a way to save enough to actually go, rather than just dreaming about it. Writers should experience life in as many places as they possibly can, after all.

8. Write a post about how you can survive the rest period. Possibily similar to this one.

Any more suggestions for those of us who are itching to get back into it?

Monday, 19 March 2012

Monday's Food for Thought

A musing on whether geomagnetic storms are making us sick went up recently. Interesting concept, but let's go bigger.

WHAT IF we really were connected to geomagnetic storms? The article states that we're affected thanks to some lingering biological traits (detecting magnetic fields) that mostly disappeared as we evolved. What if there were people out there that were not only affected, but changed by the storms?

Now we're talking.

What kind of abilities could be unlocked? Scientists claim we only use a certain percentage of our brain. I honestly believe there are some things we'd be able to do if we used more of our brain's potential. Ever had déjà vu? Imagine if that was magnified to the point of skipping ahead and actually being able to tell the future.

Hello, new reason for superheroes (that doesn't involve radiation).

Just a little something for your Monday mind to munch on.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Monday's Food For Thought

After stumbling across this post on robotic surgeries, I figured it's only natural that soon surgery will be a completely mechanical procedure with humans behind-the-scenes rather than in the room. Doctors could operate on patients anywhere in the country... or the world.

While this can be an interesting little tidbit to add to a futuristic story, it might turn into something much less trivial.

WHAT IF every surgery was done robotically? What kind of amazing things could people do to their bodies via elective surgery? How will lasers and easy recovery fit into it? What could go wrong? What would a surgeon's life be like if he or she was working purely behind the scenes?

Just a little something for your Monday mind to munch on