Friday, November 13, 2009

Inspiration - Part I

People often ask me where I find my inspiration to write. Most--though not all--of my stories start off with a bang. An idea pops into my head, whether it's from overheard dialogue or a song or whatever, a seed is planted, then I usually write that first chapter without much thought of the final ending. Then, I take a break, draw out the character sketches including GMC, write a bare-bones plot outline, and then I finally get back to work. I don't always work this way, but more often than not, this is how my stories start. I get an idea for the hero and heroine and I have to put one or both of them on paper before I really dissect who they are.

It would be nice if there was a magical wishing well that offered me that sometimes elusive 'inspiration' but the truth is, I can't wait around for inspiration to hit. I wake up practically every morning and write. Even if I don't feel like it. Heck, especially when I don't feel like it, I write. Why? Because it's my job. I know some people look at writing as a fun hobby but for me, I treat it as a business. Yes, I LOVE writing or else I wouldn't be doing it, but the unfortunate (or fortunate) part about being a writer is that no one else can finish that scene or that chapter for you. I'm my own boss for better or worse.

Even though I don't wait for inspiration to hit, there are some things I do to refill my well.

1. I read. Sadly I don't read as much as I used to, but I love reading new genres and new authors. When a new author has their first release from Grand Central or Bantam (or any other of the big NY houses), I usually pick up a copy. It's harder for an unknown author to break into NY so I read them to see what they did right.

2. I read blogs. Sometimes I find out interesting things going on in the industry, but more often than not, I find inspiration and pure entertainment.

3. I'm a movie junkie so this is naturally on my list. I love watching witty dialogue or a scene that's so sexy and so sensual between two characters, yet no words are used. Watching facial reactions and expressions is a great source of inspiration. People say a lot with their eyes. You just have to pay attention.

4. I exercise. When I jog or ride my bike, I let my thoughts wander as all those endorphins release. I love jogging in the early(ish) morning when the sun has just peeked out, fresh dew is still on the ground, everything smells fresh, and the city still has a blanket of quietness over it.

There's a lot of other places I find inspiration but that's for another post. Where do you find your inspiration?


Wynter Daniels said...

Good topic. I find lots of inspiration from the news, although sometimes truth is way too strange for fiction! I begin many books as you do - by writing a chapter or a scene before really fleshing out plot and character.
Lucky you that you can kill two birds with one stone - exercise and inspiration!

Savannah Stuart said...

Yes, the news is a great place to find inspiration! Sometimes it's depressing, but often, it's mildly entertaining. I usually find myself laughing at the dumb things criminals do, thinking they'll never get caught.

Jina Bacarr said...

For me, it's travel. Something about a place or a piece of clothing I saw in a museum or someone I met will spark an idea for a story. I write primarily historicals so I've always enjoyed digging, as it were, for ideas in strange, exotic places...