Today's fabulous tip was sent in by Ammie Hart and she credits the idea to The Paper Wait. Since Ammie doesn't have a blog, please check out this great group blog instead! Here's the tip:
Keep a journal, a central file, a SOMETHING close by at ALL times that is easily accessible. When that new idea is BURNING in your head and you can hear your characters talking, and see the chapters and plot unfolding in front of your very sleep deprived eyes, take a quick break from your WIP and jot down your thoughts and ideas. I find it's better to take a quick break from the WIP to think inspirationally for a bit as it gets me motivated to finish said WIP so I can get to writing the new inspirational piece. I also find that when I do get back to my WIP, I'm refreshed. I'd like to point out there is one strict rule I have with this--I give myself a time limit. No dilly-dallying here. Usually I allow myself a few days at most, jot down information, keep it on the side, flush out characters, plot, etc, and then back to work on my WIP.
I love this idea, Ammie. I always jot down my ideas but I usually don't flesh them out right away. I think it would be better if I did, when the idea is most fresh and exciting. Readers, what do you do when a shiny new idea strikes?