8th Day, Write or Wrong: Where do your inspirations come from?

Schroedingers CatSchroedingers Cat Shipmate, Waving not Drowning Host
edited January 28 in Limbo
I get a lot of my inspirations from feverish dreams, if I am honest. They provide some uniquely surreal concept, that I can then work something around. I guess that I might be alone in this.

I also get other pieces of inspiration from the people around, the things I see, the people I work with. Sometimes I wonder why everyone canot write, there is so much inspiration around me. The challenge for me is making some oddity of inspiration into something comprensible and story-like.

Comments

  • I get a lot of inspiration from nature. I find that simply taking a walk can give inspiration for at least scene, if not a setting for my book.

    Also, I take inspiration from the things around me. For example, the other day I say a broken heart necklace on the ground, and I was able to use it as a starting point for the entire plot of one of my stories.

    I try to avoid using writing prompts though; it feels like cheating.
  • BrendaCloughBrendaClough Shipmate
    edited March 2018
    I got the idea for the current opus from a friend, who suggested that we write a sequel to Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier. A fine notion and we brainstormed many thrilling ideas and thousands of words but it never got off the ground and a publisher offered her a several-book contract for some romances which took up all her attention. So I took a left turn from there, and the book's coming out this year.

    The previous opus, a time-travel trilogy, I've been brooding on for roughly 25 years. It was inspired by an obituary. I can't remember the deceased guy's name but I still have the cutting somewhere. An elderly Chinese man died, and his obit in the New York Times was headlined, Whatever His Name Was, Japanese Quisling, Dies Aged 84. Now isn't that awful? What a way to be remembered! Wouldn't you do anything, to avoid having a headline like that run after you're dead? So ... what could you do? You're not dead yet, so you can do something. But, OTOH, you did sell out your nation to the Japanese (or whatever heinous crime it was thirty years ago). What you need is a bigger achievement, which will supersede that earlier disaster, right? It took me a while to find the right achievement, but time travel would fix it, you agree, and once I had that notion we were good to go amd I wrote the book in a year.
  • LibsLibs Shipmate
    I usually get a character/voice and either a monologue or a conversation, and then I try and work out what's going on with them, how they got there, and where they might end up. It's often quite random stuff - there's no obvious trail to trace back to work out where the idea came from.

    (formerly known as QLib)
  • Sometimes the beginning of a new fiction feels like composing a piece of music, a phrase that repeats, images and echoes, some kind of voice emerging from nowhere. I just wait for more to appear and then follow the voice.

    But I also leapfrog off books and poems I love. Rereading Dodie Smith's I Capture the Castle reminded me how when I first read it (aged 14 or so) I began keeping a diary with words in code. And because I felt there was a darker, stranger story trying to get out of this novel, I made up my own story about two sisters and a deadly lifelong rivalry between them.
  • AmyAmy Shipmate
    My novel, which I've been writing on and off for many years, started with the question "What if nobody could remember you?" (That is, they forgot you immediately after a conversation.) That, and I had the image of someone waking up lying in the snow in the woods, not knowing who she was, and then stumbling down into a wintery town with lighted windows. The whole story developed from that.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    Reality. We'd just been to visit my demented mother. We stopped at a Tesco corner shop that used to be a pub in my youth which sold cider to 14 year olds because it was lemonade, opposite the police station outside which my grandmother had had a nervous breakdown . We drove on for a couple of miles and approaching the church where the guy who died with my dad after a plane crash is buried, outside whose house just beyond I crashed my motor shooter which I'd bought from his shop, all by chance, I saw a man kneeling on the pavement embracing a crimson masked Jack Russell. I need to tell it.


  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, 8th Day Host
    There's definitely a richesse there, Martin.
  • Very often, my inspiration comes from noticing a disconnect between two things that are together, or figuring out how to put together two or more things that don't generally go together. My now-abandoned novel about the vampire amateur detective as told by his dog was one such attempt to bring disparate things together (it also involved the dot-com boom and the Y2K scare -- I may have tried to bring TOO much together).
  • Schroedingers CatSchroedingers Cat Shipmate, Waving not Drowning Host
    One place I get inspriation from is very specific to Sci Fi-type work.One element of Sci Fi is that it often asks "What if this was different?" and explores some of the consequences. So I get inspiration by asking "What if?" Sometimes, these questions and the answers can provide interesting directions.
  • AndrasAndras Shipmate
    I enjoy looking at important historical events that have somehow fallen off most peoples' radar and using them as a scaffold to support something else entirely.

    For instance, the current Work in Progress is built around King Ecgfrith of Northumbria and his ill-fated attack on the Picts of Fortriu, which led to the end of Northumbria's time as the major military power of early Anglo Saxon England. And round that well-attested historical event (there's even a Pictish picture-stone which may show the actual Battle of Nechtansmere / Llyn Garan at which Ecgfrith was killed) I've woven a slightly off-centre version of the story of Drystan and Ousilla - better-known to opera buffs as Tristan and Isolde.

    Which is the main and which the sub-plot? I wish I knew...
  • Schroedingers CatSchroedingers Cat Shipmate, Waving not Drowning Host
    But you have the base of ideas there, and a lot of hisotry to build it around. Which is one advantage of historical fiction (possibly).
  • Martin54 wrote: »
    Reality. We'd just been to visit my demented mother. We stopped at a Tesco corner shop that used to be a pub in my youth which sold cider to 14 year olds because it was lemonade, opposite the police station outside which my grandmother had had a nervous breakdown . We drove on for a couple of miles and approaching the church where the guy who died with my dad after a plane crash is buried, outside whose house just beyond I crashed my motor shooter which I'd bought from his shop, all by chance, I saw a man kneeling on the pavement embracing a crimson masked Jack Russell. I need to tell it.



    @Martin54 the 'connectivity' here reminds me of the years I spent in therapy looking at the old Sumerian myth of the descent of Inanna into the Underworld.

    What Inanna needs to do is understand what death is, and experience a death of her own so that she (a sky goddess radiant with airy lightness and optimism) might understand the suffering and alienation of those around her. There is no misfortune, crisis, torment or surprise that is not in a sense her misfortune or crisis, and as she goes down the staircase into the dark, she relinquishes step by step all her privileges, jewels, ornaments, clothing, unique selfness, so that each step is a place where she can identify with another's loss.

    Thank you for this.
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