What is your inspiration?

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Dreamer, Sep 20, 2011.

  1. Dreamer

    Dreamer Apprentice

    I have found that there are many outside influences that help me to come up with my pieces. Some have came
    from a lyric in a song, other ideas have formed from dreams. It seems my dreams usually are my biggest
    inspirations because the senses during the dream are so real that I am able to elaborate on them and to take the
    story past the dream. What seems to be your biggest writing inspiration?
  2. ShortHair

    ShortHair Mystagogue

    On a regular basis, I'll see or hear one thing and mistake it for something else that is completely unrelated. Then I wonder, What if those two things actually were related? Usually nothing comes of it, but every once in a while there's a fleck of gold. Put a few flecks together, you have a chip. Put a few chips together, you have a nugget.

    It's probably some type of mental illness.
  3. Chilari

    Chilari Staff Moderator


    I mean it. Everything in life is an inspiration, even if you don't realise it at the time. My entire life experience has inspired me. I occasionally don't even recognise when a particular event has influenced my writing until I read it back later, recalling when I wrote it, and see how concurrent events in my life influenced what I wrote.

    But in terms of more obvious inspiration, dreams are definitely high on the list. Most of what I write begins as a dream in some form or another, even if the story changes so much that the dream sequence is no longer part of it. The story I'm currently writing, General's Secret, started as a dream. The dream became the opening scene. The opening scene became a vague plot. The plot changed, and the POV, but the opening scene remained mostly intact. But then it changed more, and I lost the original opening scene. The whole story got darker. Now, if I told you the plot, and then the dream it stemmed from, you'd never know they were ever connected.

    Other creative endeavours also inspire me. Music is a big one. Individual lines of a track, the overall mood, the way it makes me feel, all help me develop ideas. Paintings, particularly abstract paintings, sometimes convey a mood that inspires me. Watching well-made films too - though generally I don't take anything specific from films, more a desire to write, to tell stories as epic and powerful. And of course, reading. I've always read a lot, and ever since I was quite young I've wanted to write stories. My early attempts were utter rubbish, of course, but I've got better through reading more, through seeing more of life, and through writing more.
  4. CicadaGrrl

    CicadaGrrl Lore Master

    I agree. Life. Dreams, yes. But that is just one part of life. An image. A sound. A myth I read. The vibe from a person. Mainly, people and their stories that live inside me, form. I need to do them right.
  5. Ghost

    Ghost Grandmaster

    I'm amazed at all the people inspired by their dreams. My dreams tend to be mundane or confusing. In my last dream, I was Matthew Broderick and I had to sort books at a library that didn't use the Dewey decimal system.

    My inspiration seems to be a mood, like if I want something broody and gothic or bizarre and colorful. Sometimes I get a visual fragment, like a snapshot or a few seconds out of a movie. I have this image of a fanged man wearing a powdered wig, and he's chasing someone down down a cobbled street. I have no idea what it's about or where it came from, but it sticks with me. The rest of the time, my inspiration is the convergence of two unrelated ideas. That usually happens because I've been reading Wikipedia, the news, or articles about unusual events in history. They might pair up or they might get mashed into an existing plot, resolving a problem I had with conflict or setting.
  6. Hëradïn

    Hëradïn Mystagogue

    random things I happen to hear while going to class. dreams. tangential things in other books. something on TV. intense pondering.

    an example of tangential things in other books would be like the bastards in ASoIaF, while intently pondering it, I came up with the idea to have a bastard and true born son of the same mother (it is complected...) where the bastard was born first but, being a bastard, cannot inherit his father's lands and titles, but the true born second son is the one in line to gain the land and titles. in my mind it makes sense...
  7. Vandroiy

    Vandroiy Apprentice

    Interesting; that's very similar to what Orson Scott Card said when asked the same question. He said he sees something in real life, but starts wondering what it would be like if things were different. Probably, that's what creativity is about; asking the question "What would it be like if...?" instead of just accepting things as they are.

    My imagination is most active on music and other people's stories.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2011
  8. mythique890

    mythique890 Mystagogue

    I get mine from random thoughts, mostly. Mythology and fairly tales also inspire me, and a lot of the time my characters are inspired by real people, or at least, a real person's idiosyncrasies. Or sometimes I hear or read something and say, "But if it were tweaked like this it would be so much cooler."
  9. Ophiucha

    Ophiucha Dark Lord

    Any odd place, really. Sometimes it is something direct. I follow the blogs of many writers, who write articles saying "why aren't there more stories with such-and-such?" and it gets me thinking of way I could write it, or at the very least why I couldn't. Sometimes I get it from other media, fiction and non-fiction. I love China Mieville, and his work inspires me to write things which are a little bit strange, a little bit weird. Him, Borges, Lovecraft, I read them and I think "wow, I want to write something like this", and I start thinking about the things that I love, the things that I know a lot about, and I distort them. Or just some off comment inspires a great spark of ideas. I was watching "The Future Is Wild" the other night, and it speculated that cephalopods may be the next sapient line in Earth's future (long, long after humans are gone, of course). So I began thinking of how a society run by squids would work, what they would need to survive and how a culture may emerge from that. I also did a bit of research to expand on that, looking up creatures with large brains, things that could - in millions of years perhaps - evolve to be sapient. I ended up at shrews, since they have the largest body:brain mass ratio, and am now thinking about how a culture of evolved shrews might operate. Sometimes - perhaps most of the time - I am just... inspired. I'm in a mood, I want to write to get my feelings out there. I've been very anxious about my immigration status recently, as I could be deported (and forced away from my husband, in turn) within the next month, so I have begun work on a story about a couple who are separated by stone. One changes to stone by day, the other night. I probably got that part of it from Gargoyles, but the feelings - which are really the most important part - come from my life.
  10. Dragonie

    Dragonie Journeyman

    Normally what happens to me is: I'll see something, or read something, or hear something, and that something will get stuck in my brain for a while. Then it shows up as a dream, only somewhat different. Then I take that dream (or what I remember from it), tweak it some more, and usually a decent plot shows up.
  11. EParadise

    EParadise Journeyman

    Almost always dreams. When I was pregnant, and on antidepressants later, I would have the most vivid dreams. I always wrote them down. Now, I still dream wildly but I have an overflow of idead just waiting for me to have time to explore them.

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