Thursday, April 11, 2013

Finally Giving a FIG!

I discovered something fantastic today at the Google Play store. It's an app called the Fiction Idea Generator. This is easily the most inspiring app I've yet discovered, and will probably become both the best friend and worst enemy to my writing, because it will give me mountains of ideas that will probably result in the opposite of writer's block--so many inspirations that I won't have any idea where to start.

Generic writing prompts usually drive me batty and seem far too much like writing a grade school paper to me. "Write about the first time you were kissed." Oh, FUCK that! I tried to get behind those stupid prompts so many times, and so many times, I found myself wanting to slam my head into a wall until either my skull or the plaster gave way (and not caring much about which gave in first) that there were times I even doubted whether I was a writer at all. Long story...okay, a little less long...writing prompts were more demoralizing than they were useful.

But THIS...this is different.

This app is flexible enough to allow you to follow your bliss and pursue the type of format that inspires you most. Are you in a place in your writing where you just need a good location that will add fire to that confrontation? What about a word that could break your character out of her ennui? Maybe a masterplot (which IS something like a typical writing prompt) is more your style? There are a wide variety of idea options on the Home screen: Plot, Masterplot, Character, Word...even 1st Sentence and Location. When you select, for example, Plot, a screen pops up that looks like this:

Now tell me how you can NOT be inspired with a starting point like that!?

My one quibble with the FIG is that the fantastic randomness that comes up is "use it or lose it." There's no way to save the really epic concept that shows up (selecting that fig in the middle of the screen retrieves another random plot), aside from writing it down in a journal. And if you accidentally flip back to another screen, it's lost forever, like that brilliant idea you had at 4 a.m. last week that you now couldn't remember even with the prompting of a rousing round of waterboarding. If FIG manages to figure out a way to save "Favorites," you can bet I'll be in love for life.

So look for this to be used on my blog. Probably regularly, if only for the fact that I can mock up a quick draft on here and maintain the best of my random plots. I hope it helps you create your own brand of brilliance, too.

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