(I want to make a note that every time I typed the word ‘inspiration’, I ended up spelling it wrong. Thank goodness for spell check. :D)
Today I want to talk about inspiration. Some writers go seeking inspiration in the outdoors while others find it in reading. Inspiration can be found in every day things that we don’t even think are that important. Dreams can also bring new ideas and even revitalize old ideas that have been abandoned.
I write because I love the act of writing. The stories come to me in the weirdest ways at times. I’ll be trying to go to sleep and I’ll start telling myself a bedtime story in my head to help me relax. Sometimes they come to nothing other than a bit of silliness. Other times they take on a life of their own and after a few days of the same story playing out in my head I make notes and file it away to be written at a later time.
I can’t claim any special power when it comes to inspiration. I just let my life flow around me and pick up what sticks in my head. Sometimes something as simple as doing the dishes will bring an idea to me about something.
For example, a story that I expect I’ll write eventually started out in my head while I was taking a shower. A woman appeared, telling me her name was Special Agent Molly Lancaster and she wanted me to tell her story. I listened as she gave me a brief rundown of her family life, her college life, and her time on the regular police force before she was picked up by an agency that deals with occult and supernatural crimes. One of the files they have on the director’s desk is the mystery of her family, which Molly has been trying to solve since her father disappeared and her mother was arrested for his murder even though no proof was ever given that she did it. That’s as far as I got in that session with her.
When I got out of the shower, I jotted down the notes on what she told me and went on with my day. When I went to bed, she reappeared and we had another conversation. This time about her work and the fact that as the child of two beings with supernatural powers (I still don’t know what her father is/was, but I do know what her mother is/was) she has responsibilities tied into the supernatural world that land on her doorstep as soon as it’s found out that she’s in town. The non-human population flock to her, asking for her help. She has a contact in that world and passes along information when it looks like crimes are being committed by the non-human residents of the city.
I thought she would have a romantic liaison with her contact, but she yelled at me about that. She told me that not every urban fantasy book needs romance. I happened to agree with her and we moved on. I got a better picture of her appearance and her home. I still don’t know much about her contact – other than his name and that he’s not human.
I’ve noted everything she’s told me down in a file that I keep backed up in multiple places. She’s quieted down now that I have what I need to write her story. I’ll get to her eventually. She may even have a place in the huge world of an urban fantasy setting that I’m debating on writing which encompasses two of my story ideas melded into one world. The inspiration for combining the worlds came from reading about storyline match ups in comic books.
Inspiration, as far as I’m concerned, isn’t something you can really control. It hits you when it hits you. But I also believe you don’t need inspiration to strike to write a story. You can create a story out of your every day life if you want to.