Wednesday, March 21, 2012

What I Do When I Have No Idea What To Write

Okay, so yesterday I didn't get as much work done as I wanted to. I didn't officially get Writer's Block, but it was sorta like that.

Instead, I was trying to teach myself how to draw people on my computer. I use a program called GIMP to draw, but it's hard to use if you don't know what you're doing. It can take a while to get used to it.

I don't know if you've done it before, but drawing on the computer is waay different than drawing by hand. When you draw by hand, you have lots of control. All those muscles in your fingers to move your pencil in so many different ways... you don't really appreciate that until you try it digitally.

Anyway, I'm decent at drawing by hand, and I learned how to draw well by tracing things. That's how I started drawing. So I thought, yeah I'm bad at digitally drawing something, but maybe I'll start off with tracing something good and coloring it in. That way I could get the feel of how a good picture is supposed to look.

Of course, I had to go and choose the most difficult picture I could find:

This girl reminded me of my main character. It's sort of how I pictured her to look.
So anyway, I took this picture, and I traced it:

(Don't let this fool you... it took me a
few hours to trace this whole thing!)
Past the tracing, I didn't take anything from the other picture. No merging or copying. All the rest was done by me.

So I started to color it:

And finally, I added the lighting and shading.

I still feel like I cheated a little bit (probably because I did), but for now I thought the coloring and shading would give me enough of a project.

So... yeah. That's one one the things I like to do when I can't figure out what to write!

What do you guys do when the words just aren't flowing?



fairbetty said...

That's fantastic! I'm not NEARLY that good with GIMP.

If I get writers block I either go outside for a hike or to throw the ball with my dog... or I watch an episode of Doctor Who. That usually get's my creative juices flowing :)

Keep up the good work, girl!

And, you should TOTALLY try for an agency internship when you get to college. It's super informative!

Sarah F. said...

I've never had huge writers block, but if I'm stuck, I go back and read my notes. If I'm still stuck, I read through some other story ideas and work on those. For my, that's kind of a break, because I normally try not to work on more then one project at a time. If I'm still stuck, I take a break from my computer and read a book or mess around outside!
~Sarah F.

Rena said...

That's a great pic, by the way.

When I can't get the words flowing, I go do work on something else. I have too much to do to have unproductive moments--it sucks to be this busy all the time. But, one nice thing about having such limited writing time, I've usually already constructed the scenes in my head, so I write like a fiend when I do get to sit at the computer.

McKenzie McCann said...

You use GIMP? Wow. I'm so impressed. We had to use that for school, and I hated it.

That drawing is absolutely beautiful, cheating or no cheating. :)

Geoff Maritz said...

Not too shabby at all.
What do I do, I work in the garden and after a while something will come to mind, especially if I have my camera handy.
Nice job, Geoff.

Mark Murata said...

You remind me of Rachel Vincent. She had a race with another author to see who would finish their manuscript first around Christmas. She not only finished first, she also made a gingerbread house in her spare time.

Sara said...

I run when I get writers block...or get on the eliptical...or just wonder. When I lived in Georgia I would go horse back riding when I had writers block.

Nothing free's up ideas like wind in your hair while trying not to die (I'm pretty good at riding horses, I just rode green broke horses)

Samantha said...

That's awesome! I have no drawing skills what so ever. When I'm stuck I tend to work on a short story. By the way I've tagged you in the Lucky 7 Meme :)

Writing Through College

Aldrea Alien said...

I've no drawing skills. Used to have some tracing skills (nothing like what you got), but I lost that when I got into 3D rendering and used that for my characters.
Which is what I do when not typing or gaming or ... there's a lot of things I do when not typing. ^_^

It's a good image. If you don't mind me saying though, the shading on the front arm could do with a little fine-tuning. Looks a little cluncky compared to the rest.
But hey, MUCH better than what I could ever do without a full-powered program.

Aldrea Alien said...

Now where did that extra 'c' comes from?
I think my new keyboard has gremlins.

Krista McLaughlin said...

That is pretty cool. I'm not any good at drawing or tracing. If I can't write, but still want to do something... I usually cross-stitch. :)

Kelley said...

Ummm....this is amazing!!! Wow. Great job.

I just don't write. I think. Let my mind wander. Could be for a few days. Then I come up with something I have to get down and I go at it.

T. Z. Wallace said...

I read...or bake...or putter around the house...or knit...or obsess over the indie publishing part of things...

I want to tinker around with the cover soon, though.

Sarah Pearson said...

I have no drawing skills whatsoever, by hand or on computer!

I tend to write silly little stories when I can't focus on my main work.

Liz said...

I don't think I'd consider that cheating. It's better than I could do.

When the words aren't flowing, sometimes I open up a blank document and write about not having anything to write about. I can whine for 600+ words about not having anything to say. But more often, I'll write a couple sentences about the problems I think I'm having, and they'll suddenly work themselves out and the words are flowing again.

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