As you probably already know, writers get up to all sorts of mischief. We are born troublemakers. You have only to think about the authors self-promoting on Twitter, Facebook, and the book chats to see what I mean. It’s how we avoid working on our books when things aren’t going well or we’re temporarily fed up! I suspect restlessness must be afoot once more because I’ve been tagged in a blogging game by two of my writer friends, Lucinda Elliot and Mari Biella. The game entails answering questions about a novel in progress. With people coming at me from all sides, I need to get a move on, so here goes!
What is the working title of your book?
I’m currently working on five novels but will focus on The Salt Wizard for the game. Why do I have five books underway at the same time? Well, I didn’t plan it that way. In my early years as a writer, every time I became badly stuck, I started another book! As it happened, this mad scheme eventually matured into a conscious technique. Having a number of novels going at the same time gives me something interesting to beaver away at, no matter what. Now I swap back and forth among the novels as mood and opportunity allow. Lately, I have become serious about finishing something and getting it out there, so I’m concentrating on The Salt Wizard.
Scientists studying human cognition have found that memory and mood are inextricably intertwined. Even more interesting is that we can take advantage of this situation by using a simple technique known as nuance priming.
We can deliberately use mood to enhance our ability to notice relevant information within ourselves and in the world around us. (Image: Vintage Printable)
Nuance priming is also a creativity research term. It means recalling or getting into a particular mood in order to exploit the brain’s habit of using feeling tones to sort and store information in related clusters called emotional cognitive structures. This is a fancy way of saying that the brain files ideas and memories in groups according to their feeling tone. Recall feeling tone X and we will get access to other things stored with the same, or similar, mood. This is a kind of deliberate associative (as opposed to logical) thinking. However, we are not actually doing the associative thinking. We are setting up a scenario to make use of the brain’s natural associative way of doing things.