Who are your sources of inspiration while writing a fiction book?
What are your sources of inspiration?
Where do you get your ideas?
How do you think of those things?
As a writer I get questions like these all the time. Probably many of you do as well, and if you haven’t and are a writer…well you will.
These questions used to annoy me until I understood what exactly people were trying to ask. I think I have it figured out!
Some people think of writing as a mystical talent that belongs to only a few chosen ones. Others think that they can find the inspiration, and ability, if they ask enough questions. Well, maybe they can, but most likely they won’t because writing is a very individual thing. Each writer has his/her own style and inspiring things or people. I can only answer the questions for myself, but maybe they might be a bit illuminating, not to how someone else can write a novel, but how I can.
My sources of inspiration are as varied as the flowers in a greenhouse.
First off, I love to read. I will read anything I can get my hands on, and I will usually like something about it. Maybe not the whole book, but a passage or two at the least.
My favorite writers may be possible sources of inspiration, but I don’t know that they are. The only paranormal romance I have read is actually by Stephanie Meyer. And yes, I do read her work, it is a guilty pleasure for me. Mostly I read fantasy, science fiction and horror.
Issac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Peter Benchley, Stephen King, C. S. Lewis, William Golding, Anne McCaffrey, Robin McKinley and others have found permanent places on my bookshelf. Inspiration? Maybe. Good reads? Definitely.
How do I think of the ideas for my stories? The same way anyone thinks about anything. A logical progression of events that come together in my warped little mind producing something different.
The idea for INFECTED came as I stood on my front porch and watched one of the high school girls in my neighborhood walk through the wooded lot across the street. That’s it really. Well, about 6 months earlier I DID take an Invertebrate Zoology Laboratory. The two things came together and BAM, new idea. The sequel, THE GREEN ONES, suggested itself about 3/4 of the way through writing INFECTED.
A short story I wrote in high school came from being bored in a Global Studies class. I started wondering what the world would be like if no one crossed the Atlantic Ocean. Then what if the reason for that came from someone in the future? BAM, another idea.
Inspiration is basically two ideas that have nothing to do with each other, colliding in a burst of creativity.
There is no magic formula. There is no sure-fire way to discover an idea. It happens, or it doesn’t, and it CANNOT be forced. In fact, the more you force it, the worse the story becomes.
Now refining your ideas into something you can make a story out of is another matter all together, and maybe the subject of another post.
Writing prompts are a way to get your creativity flowing, and fine tuning your thoughts to create words, phrases, sentences, and eventually stories. They can be a great help, but be careful and don’t fall into a rut.
Inspiration. That strange, undefinable thing, is what all writers look for, and good writers find. (notice I said good, not great)