Monday, August 08, 2011

Inspiration

Inspiration is important, but so is the ability to write without inspiration. Last year, I started a book with little to no inspiration. I knew I needed to write a book, and I wanted it to be about a sixteen-year-old dragon slayer. I don't know where I got the idea, but it wasn't really "inspired." I simply sat down at the computer and thought of ideas until I found one that I could turn into a story I would want to read.

Later in the year I tried the same thing again. I came up with a couple of concepts that showed real promise, but as I started to flesh out the characters, I started to hate the setting, the characters, and the idea. So I jumped back into revisions for both of the books that I had already written.

Well, last week I started listening to A Game of Thrones on my iPod. I barely got through the prologue before my brain went to work on a new book. I haven't started writing it yet because I haven't had time. I'm going to mull it over for a while, too, to make sure I like the various elements. I also need to figure out how to make the first volume stand alone. As much as I like the idea of writing a huge series, I don't want to put effort into one until after I'm published. The two books I've already written stand on their own, and until I have an agent, or a publishing contract, that's how I'm going to approach every project.

My point? Inspiration is everywhere, but you can't just sit around and wait for it. Write when you have the time, even if it's a silly blog post. When you feel uninspired, create a character, or write a short scene about something interesting. Take time to read. Listen to books on CD, or Audible.com. The man who narrates A Game of Thrones is amazing! James Marsters does a great job with the Dresden Files (except the newest one, apparently. They got another guy because Mr. Marsters couldn't do Ghost Story). Check out the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger. Find inspiration where you can, and GO WITH IT! Take notes. When I had this idea, I was driving. I used to think, "Oh, I'll remember all of this." And I do, but I think it's because my brain made a memory trigger out of the fact that I took the time to pull out my iPod and record a message to myself.

Speaking of inspiration, please go donate! The situation in Africa is getting worse. Samaritan's Purse needs all the help they can get.

6 comments:

  1. Totally agree. Inspiration is rare and valuable and can strike at any moment, but you can encourage it by exploring (life, other fiction, etc.).

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  2. Great point--you can't wait for inspiration, you have to go looking for it. One of my best tricks is taking walks--either hiking or just around the neighborhood. Sparks the imagination everytime! And films with beautiful settings--LOTR, historical films, etc.

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  3. Life is a journey of learning & you be sure to keep learning ~ listening, reading, watching, attending will grow your inspiration bank. I hope you never get to the place where you think it isn't important (necessary!) to take a writing class, have others pick apart your story, inject praise over your plot, etc. You are generous with your learning process & I pray you remain teachable so you can then teach others.

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  4. I agree that inspiration is super important, but it's also important to remember that the words don't write themselves and always waiting for your muse can be an abused excuse. Cool post :) <3 follower #50

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  5. I love that spark of inspiration! It's like all things (fictionally) possible are at your command.

    Hey did you redo your blog design? I like it!

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  6. Lydia, I did change it :)

    I'm glad so many people agree! Inspiration is great, and it can help, but more importantly, you must be excited about your work! Inspiration helps me get excited, but as I said, the project I'm submitting now was rather uninspired. I still really enjoyed it! I still do enjoy it, and it's a book I would read.

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