Okay, for this fantastic Memorial Day (it's raining here, insert sarcasm), I thought I'd throw out the topic of inspiration. Muse, ideas, dreams, whatever you want to call it.
Where do your story ideas come from?
This is not how you inspire yourselves to write. No, no, no, my friends. Pretend I'm like, Barbara Walters or better yet--Oprah, and you're on my show (this blog) and you're a multi-million dollar author with a series of books on the NYT's bestselling list. Okay...are you there? Got that image in your head? It's nice, isn't it? They're passing around goblets of Ginger ale and bowls of bubble gum sit on glass-topped tables...
Ahem. Stay with me. So the question is, How did you come up with the idea for your story?
I have a couple:
1. Music. More specifically, the lyrics in said music. I have a post coming up on this so I won't elaborate. Stay tuned for Wednesday though! It's gonna be a wild ride! *snarf*
2. Playing the "What If...?" game. This game basically goes like this.
Me: sitting at stoplight on the way to work. Creative Self, what would happen if time stopped right here, right now?
Creative Self: You wouldn't get paid. You don't go to work, you don't get paid.
Me: Forget about money. What if... Jon couldn't get to Annie in time? What if she became a ghost? What if Jesse kissed Rosemary? What if Gabby fell off that wall? How would she survive? What if Adam really is a traitor? What if DL died? What would that do to Bristol? Could she even survive that? Could Landon? What if... What if... What if... ???
I love this game. You should totally try it. Maybe not at the stoplight, but sometime. It can be played alone or in groups of up to five.
3. Take a shower, fold the laundry, push your kid on the swing. I get random ideas and spurts of insight into current stories doing mundane things. In fact, when I'm feeling particularly "blocked" I love turning the shower on as hot as possible and just standing there for a while. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, but I have received flashes of so-called brilliance whilst showering. Try to get that image out of your head. *ROTFL* Or better yet, use the word "whilst" in a blog post in the near future.
Which leads me to 4. Words. That's right, all you writers of words. I use words to inspire me. I keep notebooks of words I like. Things like "whilst" and "pontificate" and "gem" and "inked" and "prowled" and a whole host of others. Sometimes just being able to see those fun and unique words will help me write a sentence that uses words in exactly the way I want. And that makes writing fun. And if it's not fun, it's hard to do.
So that's it for me. I don't dream. I don't have a magical wand (which would be totally kewl). I don't have a sweet formula.
Where do you get yours?