Writing Wednesday: Inspiration

Writing Wednesday

This meme is all over the place and no one seems to know where it started, but if you know feel free to tell me!

Where do you look for inspiration?  I have a couple of sources that pretty consistently trigger something in me.

1. Reading Books/Watching Movies/Watching TV/Playing Video Games – You would think those might be separate but for me it would be pretty redundant.  In both cases it can be something as small as a single sentence that makes me have a “What if?”  I could be reading a hard core traditional fantasy about some kingly guy but then I read a certain sentence or phrase and wonder “What if this tiny thing happened to a little girl in outer space?”  and suddenly I am writing a story without the slightest resemblance but still inspired by that source.  Occasionally I have the… what if I changed x, y, and z inspiration but usually that is just if I am really dry on the writing and need something to toy with.

2. Visual Stuff Usually from the Internet – Art, photography… greeting cards.  Actually the funniest bit in this set is book covers.  Sometimes I look at a book cover and in it I see a story, usually a completely different story than the book itself.  I’m not sure what that says about the cover design but it can definitely be entertaining.  I used to use StumbleUpon like crazy when I was stuck but it is also a dangerous addiction.  I’ve started keeping a Pinterest board of images I find inspiring.  It ranges from clothing to illustrations to photographs of interesting people and places.  Pretend that just saying that didn’t result in me getting lost for at least 15 minutes.

3. My Own Writing – I’m sure that seems absolutely silly from first glance but actually when I am in my worst slumps often going back through my archives is the best medicine.  Sometimes I end up picking up where I left off with something years ago.  I might decide to do a rewrite of something.  I even have one story that was originally fantasy but got rewritten as science fiction.  Other times it is very much like I mentioned about in number 1, there is a single moment that sets a spark off in a completely new direction.

4. People Watching/Reality – That weird girl who keeps staring out the window behind you… yeah that girl is me trying to poorly disguise my people watching.  I like to see people alone, how they react to independence, how they react to the world.  I also like to watch groups.  When a couple comes into an office which one has the question and which one does the talking.  I like little physical details and verbal or movement quirks.  I remember being on a vacation in the mountains and seeing a man leaving a cooking supply store who had the most interesting cheek scar, that was probably more than 7 years ago.

So what things inspire you the most?  I have inspiration books but I always forget to use them.

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