You never know when the muse will strike. Like an unwelcome relative, it usually shows up without warning. It could be during your son’s soccer game, while you are in bed at night, or while you are driving.
Your moment of brilliance could be anything: it could be a snatch of dialogue, a plot development, a new conflict or the last sentence of your book. Either way, when these flashes of inspiration appear, you do not want to lose them.
At this point in my life, I find that if I do not write it down, it later escapes me. Whether it is due to age or all that anesthesia I have had through the years, most thoughts in my head are fleeting. So that great idea or witty banter of dialogue that comes to me at five in the morning has done a disappearing act by the time I am rolling out of bed a few hours later.
I especially find that sensitive time in the morning between dreaming and waking to be a fertile minefield of solutions to problems, new ideas for the book and dialogue. Unfortunately, the jarring alarm usually shatters all these thoughts and ideas.
One suggestion would be to write it down as soon as it comes to you. You could carry a small notepad and pen with you at all times; small enough to slide into your pocket or purse or to fit on top of the bedside table. The trick is to write it down as it happens and this requires some discipline. It is very hard to pull yourself out of the land of nod, sit up and turn on the light and write something down. But like anything, with discipline, it will soon become a habit. And a worthy one.
How do you force yourself to catch those tiny moments of inspiration?