Some of us struggle to keep up with the tumble of ideas that assaults us, each idea demanding we write a book about it because it's so great. Some of us are on the other end of the spectrum— searching, searching, for that one idea that will best express what we think we have to say.
I find myself pulled the first direction when I'm thinking about writing suspense novels with international intrigue. For example, a visit to Prague, Czech Republic, last week filled my head with images and intrigues in ancient winding cobblestoned streets. It's the perfect setup, especially if you place the story in the late eighties when communism was about to be defeated by the election of Vaclav Havel, and the world-famous Velvet Revolution happened. (I got the inside scoop on some of Havel's personal life peculiarities from a tour guide who was more than a little disenchanted by what the Czech government had been able to do for her and her countrymen and women lately.) The inherent conflict within the Czech people, especially those old enough to have been raised with communist structures who are now parents of people born into the new world of democracy, is a writer's dream.
On the other hand, I feel such a strong pull toward writing that literary novel that's been lurking deep in my heart for a while now, that I can't think of anything else, even though I don't know yet what it's bone structure looks like. My inclination in my search for that structure, counterintuitive as it may seem, is to turn to poetry, where truths seem to sprout from ancient roots.
Where do you get your inspiration for your book ideas? Do you dream them, live them, meditate them, sit down and deliberately doodle them, or just look and listen to what's going on around you and extrapolate? We can all grow from thinking about what works for others to shape ideas. No one approaches this exactly the same way, I'm convinced, even if the inspiration is the same, and it is fascinating to contemplate that. Where did your idea for your latest project come from? How did it take shape in your head?
I get a lot of random story ideas, sometimes just scenes or beginnings and I write them all down. Most of the time these come from other stories I read or what I watch on TV. Sometimes they just pop out of the aether. That's sort of how my current story started. Just a scene about a girl, hunting werewovles to earn a living and keep her brother safe. The first scene had a lot of stuff in her thoughts about the world and such. From there it was just getting through the story and now in draft 2 it's about the fine tuning of the world and characters.ReplyDelete
That's a great approach, Gretchen. It's a comfy slip-into-the-zone feeling, that gives you what you need to know about where to stake your claim (heh--oh, 'stake' is vampires, not werewolves, sorry!)Delete
Some of my stories are inspired by doing research on a different project, others are inspired by things that I've wondered about since I was a kid.ReplyDelete
Stories that come from a deep place of curiosity, and/or include some serious expertise from research, are so powerful. Love that, Angelina. I think that's the direction I'm going right now. :)Delete
Everywhere! Other people's fabulous writing inspires me to push the boundaries of my own ideas. Science and nature and how humans exist...I have so many sources. :)ReplyDelete
I think that makes you practically an automatic writer, Lydia. It all speaks to you, asking to be made into a story. :)Delete
I get inspired through reading. A great book always has the power to spur me to write. The idea for my current WIP actually came out of writing the first book. I hadn't imagined a series at all. But I found I couldn't tell the whole story in just one book. And I never imagined this character being anything but secondary. Yet she demands that her story be told.ReplyDelete
Fantastic, Lin, I love that! When your unconscious takes hold like that through a character, you're onto something important.Delete
Linda, I love this... and my comment was wiped out! So glad I came back. I do feel your pain. I am inspired daily by the places I go, people I meet, things I hear on the news. My mind is whirling at high speed pulling in all that I want to write. This? Or that? What? Bounce. Bang. Slam.ReplyDelete
I think a good idea is, when you wake up... what are you thinking about? Go that path for the day. Is it possible to write two (three) books at the same time?
Excellent article. So glad you had a wonderful time!
I don't know about writing two or three books at the same time, Karlene. Maybe you can! I know I currently have two books in different stages of development. Oh, wait, make that three! heh. I have to pick one and concentrate only on it. How about you--can you do more than one at once?? You have so many images coming in to you all the time with your job!Delete
Inspiration comes from the most unlikely sources. It's always a rush when it hits.ReplyDelete
That is so true, Laura, and that rush is fabulous! :)Delete