Welcome to week 14 of the 52-week MFRW blog challenge. Each week I will post something about that week’s topic. Ready to play?
This week’s prompt:
Or as my title suggests, when Inspiration strikes. This is definitely one that I will be reading all of the other blogger’s posts! I find it fascinating what inspires writers to write and write the specific story they end up writing. I wonder if anyone else sometimes does like me — the initial story is not what ends up on the pages.
The myriad of things that inspire me are as diverse as the many things that our world offer! Stop laughing, I’m serious. I’ve been pondering how to best convey this and I’ve come up with a simple plan, to list some of the ideas and where they came from.
- An argument over the finances with my husband. Feeling a bit singed around the edges, several hours after the argument, I was talking with my oldest daughter about something unrelated, probably something to do with a video game that she was playing. Suddenly it struck me! OH, I remember now it was a discussion of the movie The Hobbit. So, she’s going on about some of the scenes in the Hobbit, and describing the scene whenBilbo Baggins enters the dragon’s lair to find the stone amongst the hoard of gold. Dragons – gold – Eureka! I commented about the dragon complex, certain individuals who seem to be obsessed with the HAVING of money, not using the money to enjoy life. Not to name names or anything but being the spendthrift in this marriage I’m sure you can see which of us has the dragon complex. Hmmm, . . . dragon complex. . . gold . . . shapeshifter dragons. . . attracted to gold. . . I’ll bet they can smell it! I got what my kids call my scary inspiration face and was off and running. Just a short time later I shoved fourteen pages of handwritten story stat into my daughter’s clutches demanding – READ IT! From that start, Kiss of the Dragon was birthed. I used that story for my very first Nanowrimo story. It still sits in the file drawer because I will admit, it has so many rabbits popping up in it that it’s like a game of whack a rabbit! It needs a lot of rewrites. Don’t fret though, it isn’t forgotten.
- While reading the fourth book in a series by an author that I absolutely loved at the time, I didn’t like the way this particular book was playing out. I kind of felt cheated, to be honest. I had paid good money preordering my first edition hardback copies of these books, and it seemed that it had become more about getting the books published to make money than caring about constructing a quality story. I didn’t like the turn this story was taking. There was a lot of gratuitous sex in this book, to the point that I was frustrated with the author. To be honest, after finishing this series I’ve not bought another of their books. So the inspiration part: during this “Ugh, this is awful! Way to sell out just to get the books out there. If I were writing this story I would have character X do . . . And the relationship between X and B would end and the heroine would see that character D is the right one for her. As Gru says – Lightbulb! I guess this is the premise of why some people write fanfiction. Not me though, I was inspired by the world that this author built, but could see the cracks from the stage so much that it just seemed like stage props. I would take that stage prop, rebuild it, add a dash of humor here, a bit of danger there, oh yes, throw in some dark magic and terror. . . .whala – Faere Warrior and Faere Guardian were born. Yes, these are in my files as well becuase again – over run with rabbits!
- Story prompts! I used to be the managing editor for a group blog, where each of the authors including myself had an assigned day of the week to write a short or serial. The idea was to generate traffic for the up and coming authors and gain them a following. I’d like to take credit for it, but I can’t. I kind of took over for an amazing friend whose brainchild it was when she became overwhelmed with dealing with it. Cathy Brockman was the genius behind it and I owe her a debt of gratitude for helping me in so many ways. My initial debut story was inspired by an online friend that lies in the UK. I only knew them via Facebook. At that time, the big thing was catfish stories. For those who don’t know what that is, it was meeting someone online, talking to them, then finding out they weren’t who they said they were. There was a show on tv about it even! So my brain started working on the “What if?”. Love Notes came out of that. No that isn’t published because of some other issues. My first published book, Red Wine & Roses also came out of this group blog. It actually came from a photo prompt. Our family had taken a vacation to the Smoky mountains and we hiked up to Grotto Falls. The scenery inspired me to think while hiking. I was in free think mode, where the sky is the limit and laws of nature can be discarded while thinking in the whatif. I had learned a lot during my tenure at the group blog, one of the lessons being to focus on and finish a project. Thanks to an amazing lady – Vicki Locey – she is helping me to not only focus on one project at a time but managing revisions of my previous stories.
- While driving my daughter to work a few years ago before she had her license, we passed a field that was flooded. There were many places flooded and in fact, that was the last day we were able to travel that road for a week and a half due to flooding. This field had been planted with corn and the tender young plants were either completely under water or partially underwater. Once the road was reopened, you could see the high water marks, the pitiful looking plants that you knew were going to die, and a vast field of mud. It was obviously too muddy for the farmer to get out there yet and replant the field but the thought stuck me – If a person were to try to walk through that field, they would sink up to their hips. Hmm, . . . whala! Another story idea. I haven’t developed this one very far, but it’s on my todo list.
Inspiration is all around us. I have never had a shortage of ideas. If I ever do, I always have a plethora of projects in my unfinished files. By the time I finish that, maybe I’ll have more ideas.
What inspires you? What prompts a story idea for you? do you ever wonder where an author gets an idea for the story?
How are you liking these posts? YOU may want to check out these other authors views as well:
Til next time!
Write on my friends, write on!
I am not a story teller by nature-and I have always wished I was. I get lots of inspiration everywhere, my brain just doesn’t formulate “stories” based on that inspiration. I’m going to try and think in story mode for awhile, inspired by your post, and see what I can come up with! Even it’s just a short…
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Amanda, how do you formulate your stories if not from the inspiration?
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That’s just it- I can’t come up with “stories”
Inspiration is all around us. Little things that connect to the next little thing that finally leads to your next story idea. Starts as something small and morphs into a whole lot more. Being a writer means never rule anything out no matter how small.
Oh and like you, I’ve never done fanfiction. I know it’s a big deal but it’s not something I’ve wanted to try. Recently learning about the Kindle Worlds got me thinking about how authors are now embracing it and found a way to make some money off people using the worlds they’ve created.
I”ve been curious about Kindle Worlds, but I don’t know enough about it to embrace it.
FYI, I have a book out in Kindle Worlds. There are some pluses to it, but a lot of negatives (you can’t control the price, can’t put it on sale, can’t EVER use your characters in a spin off book unless it’s another book published that same World (you give up all rights to the book/characters to Amazon), you’re splitting sales profits three ways – you, Amazon, and the World’s original author.
That is it exactly!
Dragon complex–love that description, and love that you developed a story from that aha moment. Very interesting post, Ellie!
Thanks! My husband was less than amused with it, but I think it turned into a good story. I am considering pushing this one up higher on my priority list.
I love telling stories and flying with dragons and dragon shifters. I’ll have to check out the dragon’s lairs. If they have “dragon complex” they must have gold. I’m sure they’ll share. interesting post.
Bits and pieces of friends and family are bound to end up in our stories. Dr. K, my husband, was the basis for one of my characters. I love that character for all the things that remind me of Dr. K.
Per number 2, I’ve come up with story ideas because I’ve hated a story or ending, or a secondary character appealed to me, or I wanted to work with another version of it.
You sure do find inspiration in diverse places. I didn’t see where to sign up for the linky list, but here’s my inspiration.