Capturing the Magic

Posted Pete Bauer Writing

There is a real feeling of something special, unique and magical happening when a moment of inspiration sparks within you. Rarely can you garner the same creative sensation one feels when you create something out of nothing, when you turn a blank page into an outline, a storyboard, a script page or a chapter of a novel.

When you create a character, it comes alive. It evolves and grows and has its own voice.

When you create an obstacle for your character to overcome, you feel anxiety as you live the challenge facing your character.

When you create the world of the story, it’s almost as if you get an insight into what God must feel when experiencing his creation here on Earth. When forming the world of the story you know its sounds, its smells, its ebbs and flows, its weaknesses and strengths and it’s moral compass.

The spark of inspiration can feel like a gift, a divine peek into God’s joy of creation.

It is a rare and wonderful thing.

Capturing that moment of inspiration, that flood of creative juice, is critical. If you are not careful, like a wisp of smoke it will quickly dissipate into the air.

Here are two suggestions to capture the magic of inspiration for long term use.

1) use an audio recorder. I started using a digital audio recorder for the first time while fleshing out the story arcs for our trilogy of feature films. We would record the entire brainstorming session, the ideas that worked and the ideas that tanked. Afterward we would transcribe the session, word for word.

I was amazed at how much information, character detail and story substance was documented using this method. In the past, only the broad stroke ideas, the big picture inspirations would have been retained. But, using this dictation method, ever nuance was captured and spurred more creative ideas.

2) always write down inspiration, even if it doesn’t belong in the story you’re writing. This is not something that I have done, yet, but is an intriguing idea about which I had recently heard.

The concept is simple enough… inspiration should not be wasted. When writing, write every inspired moment that occurs to you. You can choose later, in the rewriting process, to either cut it or save it for another story. But, don’t waste it. It is too rare and precious to ignore. Document it even if it doesn’t fit within the limited confines of the story on which you are currently working. Whenever inspiration hits, let it come out in its full glory. Then you’ll have the option of where and when to use it.

Inspiration is the drug that keeps writers addicted to the process. It’s the infusion of “creative crack” that keeps us coming back to the long, arduous and often difficult process of writing.

Inspiration is the magic in the wand of storytelling.

It is a wonderful gift that is rarely matched in any other experience.

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