The most frequently asked question of me as an author is, “Where do you get your inspiration?”
“Everywhere” is the short answer. There is no rhyme or reason for what, when, where, or who inspires me. It’s the same for my blog in case you hadn’t noticed. Whatever inspires me or catches my interest or my latest obsession (bullet journaling and crochet).
I have a couple of books of writing prompts that I sometimes use for inspiration. To be honest, most of those never make it past the journal. It’s intended as an exercise just as playing the scales and arpeggios was practice for improving my mad piano skills, the prompts are to flex my writerly muscles. Once in a while those prompts are the seeds of something bigger.
I’ve shared in the past that my inspiration for Red Wine & Roses was a photograph of a stream during a flash flood that is located in the Smoky Mountains. My inspiration for Valkyrie’s was a television series called the Librarian. It was actually the opening sequence of the show that triggered my what if to kick into high gear. Then it grew like a bamboo shoot. Slowly at first, then in brainstorming time — like a bamboo shoot– it suddenly grew to encompass a series, not just a stand alone novel.
As a writer, I have spent years journaling short stories, flash fiction, personal journaling, tried my hand at poetry – yeah no. I’ve practiced my craft. I’ve learned things that work and things that don’t. I’ve gleaned information from what others said.
I still have a lot to learn, but I’ve come a long way from the childish scribbles that I began with.
What inspires you?
Perhaps it’s a setting – take a look on Pinterest at travel posts, or exotic locations. You’d think that I would have been inspired by tropical locations for a story, but instead I find that odd locations pique my interest. Valkyrie’s is located in Norway. Red Wine & Roses is located in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Not that those are odd necessarily, but not exactly my ideal getaway spot either. I have ideas for another series located in Egypt of all places. Dry desert – go figure.
Perhaps it’s a model that you envision as your next heroine – Who is she? What does she do? Where does she work? Where is she from? What motivates her? What are her deepest desires? What are her flaws? Or if it’s a male, same for the hero – ask yourself these questions and find out who they are.
Maybe a plot gets you motivated –There are 20 master plots, some argue that there are only 7. Google master plots and find out if one catches your fancy.
Tragic Moment – Perhaps your motivation begins with the inciting incident. Go with it!
Writing is a continual learning curve. Do what works for you. Listen to the experts, improve your skills, and work towards your goals. Pursue your writing dreams, not anyone elses.
Write on my friend, write on!