Nude Is the New Black

Ernest Hemingway perferred to write standing up. He claimed it helped the creative juices flow more freely.

For similar reasons… I write in the nude.

Word Salad is not a story for the faint of heart nor for the casual reader- the book is overwhelmingly gory at times, overwrought with theatricality. What I pride myself in are very unique and shocking stories. Stories that make the reader ask, “No, could that actually happen?”

At its heart are people with real problems, but not in usual situations. I think a good story deserves very real people placed in very unusual and compromising circumstances. More of that later.

The question is, how does one come up with these ideas? How do writers sit and think about all the weird, weird things we’ll put our characters through.

Answer: shower time.

Standing under a hot stream of water, shampoo stinging your eyes, ideas come to you. Lines for poems. Ideas for stories. New plots and subplots and patches for plot holes.

So say I’m standing under the scalding jet… and I think, what about a story of a maid at a brothel? What a disgusting demoralizing job, flipping mattresses, handing out “equipment.” And what if he were a man and also having an affair with the female pimp, a hardcore prostitute named Roxi. And what if also he were an undercover cop sent in to investigate this brothel that is disguised as a hotel, to bring down this front for prostitution, only can’t dredge up any evidence because he has fallen in love with his new life.

Thus was born Part 3: Job Perks for Prostitutes.

I slip-slide across the bathroom tiles, wrap a towel around me, and rush to my laptop. Start typing. Write, write, write- even naked, what does it matter? And maybe this character has to face my protagonist anti-hero, Sebastian Martinelli. So maybe these prostitutes, they start being killed.

The thing about inspiration is that no amount of forced pain and meditation can really make it come. Inspiration does not arrive on the wings of paper birds, but maybe instead in the drippy strings of dandruff shampoo that cling to your hair.

The truth is, inspiration is found everywhere. Some writers drink, finding wisdom in the throes of lost delirium. Some shoot up herion. Some writers, they take up carpentry. Each hammer-hit thumb inspires new ideas. Pain brings wisdom.

So, I’m glad for me, nudity does. It seems a lot more convenient, anyways.

In what weird places do you birth story ideas?

About derekberry

Derek Berry is a novelist, poet, and student located in Charleston, SC.

Posted on July 21, 2011, in Blogging, books, Poetry, publishing, Random, writer, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Great post! I love poetry very much

  2. You’re on fire, Mister! And I don’t mean the hot shower thing, although you managed to make me laugh and told me something about your book at the same time. Masterful. Another great post.

    I get my ideas for writing from my experiences. Something wonky happens in my life, which is strange because I don’t get out that often, and I simply notice it. Then cogitate over how do I start a story about this? Often the perfect idea comes during mindful meditation when I should be only focusing on my breathing. Sometimes when I’m waiting for Scrappy to poop…Never when my fingers are perched over the keyboard.

  3. For me, it isn’t a place, as much as an activity. Whether I’m in the pool or at the gym, I hate working out. HATE IT. It’s exhausting, it’s hard and it’s BORING, so I fill my mind with plots and characters and dialogue while I’m struggling with the stair climber or fighting water resistance. Filling up an emply space is probably a better description than Inspiration, but whatever you want to call it, it works for me.

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