So, I have been away from my keyboard for a while. Long story short, me and my wife moved for work and landed in a place where we needed to do a lot of things before I could start writing again. And a mean it, I could not write for this site, nor could I sit down and work on fiction. My focus was on setting up base camp to live for the next two years.
But, my mind often drifts anyway. I saw so many wondrous things that I wanted to share. When writing, one always seems to look for real life inspiration. Inspiration is around us, no matter what art form. Here is my story on how I got inspired to start my new novel.
READ – read often, and read a lot.
Because we could not find adapters for our plugs, we had no laptops. Luckily I could charge my phone, where my kindle is linked with all my books. I was busy reading On Writing by Mr. Stephen King and How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method by Mr. Randy Ingermanson.
Mr. King needs no introduction. So I will go straight into the book. It was not a how to manual, it was not the Dragon Scroll… What it was, was permission. For some reason, writers always seek permission and approval. As though the universe needs to tell them that it is okay to be a writer. That it is not a sin to write. Or, at least for me it feels like that sometimes. I constantly stop writing because I feel that I am no good, but this book… If mr. King can continue writing and submitting projects and be rejected over and over again, then why can’t I?
I was inspired, because he told how he struggled in life, but despite struggling, he did what he loved to do, what his heart wanted to do. He is passionate about writing, not about fame or money, but about good writing. My inspiration came from his motivation to sit down everyday and get the words from the fingers to the page.
Mr. Ingermanson, who you can go look up, wrote this book to help authors get unstuck. He differentiates between people who created endless outlines and those who create no outlines. In doing so he finds some middle ground where creativity and logic meet. I love things like that. He states when ever possible, that you should do what works for you. The snowflake is not a rule, it is a guide. If something does not work, do not use it. He himself skips some of his own Snowflake steps, because he knows that it would not work for that book.
He inspired me, to give his outline a try, and write the novel in a way that has helped him. Order and chaos that makes the story beutiful.
Use your imagination
Where do you get ideas for stories? What inspired you to write about X, Y and Z? Well…
It is no secret that I love writing prompts. I would go on Pinterest, find one that I like and play the what if game. I really do love doing just that. What if the handsome man lost his looks but no one cared? What if he was the villain of someone elses story? How would he react to find out that he was the villain all along? What if he enjoyed being evil? WHAT IF…
But last week my wife and I went for a walk. We have been in Taizhou, China, for a week, but have not yet gone out to explore. So we set out to the mountain across the road and started climbing the stairs to the temple. It was breath takingly beautiful. The green forest covered in moss and ferns, the thousands of stairs carved with integrity sigils, the graves….
Turns out that people get buried on the mountain, some of the graves seemed new… That is exactly how forests become haunted…
What if… What if the people (or children specifically) buried there are sacrifices? What if the temple is a beacon for the lost souls? What if the children protect what ever is in the temple? What if there is a prophesy? What if the children don’t like this post and come for me…
We did not reach the temple, I got tired and we left that road for another day. But the entire time we walked and talked, bmy mind was writing this story about evil spirits, who get fed the blood of innocent people by the mosquitoes who drain them of life force…
That is where the inspiration came from…
Fear – it is not a physical thing
People often have great stories, but they are afraid to tell it. I don’t know why we do that… Its a story, its something we want to share, it is something we made.
I am guilty of it. I wrote many stories only to delete them without sharing it to the world. I had many great stories that I never wrote, because who would like to read my trash? Fear has so much power over inspiration that it can easily overwhelm it.
No more. Writers, you need to stop being affraid of what others think of your work. Write the story you would love to read, and if no one likes it, at least you would like it. And I promise, somewhere in this world is someone who likes what you like. Even if it is just a family member. If you never write your story, the you will leave this world a little bit emptier. But if you leave your work, your soul in writing, you will always be in the heart of the people.
I would recommend the snowflake method for people feeling fear… Because it guides you throught the emotions that writers go through when writing. It is not perfect, but it does make you feel covered.
You don’t need permission
I will keep this short. You are a writer, you are a creator, you are the master of your thoughts.
You are the one who wants to sit down and write. You are the one with the story to tell. No one else is going to tell the story that you have inside your mind.
You don’t need permission, you need to sit down and do the work. Do what you love. And if you don’t love doing it, then stop doing it. Get somethign you like, and do that instead. If you want tor write, no one should stop you. When you finish your story and it sucks, write another one that is better.
YOU ARE A WRITER!
Good or bad, you are a writer. So stop waiting for inspiration, sit your butt down, and tell your story.
- Read a lot – fiction and non-fiction
- Tell stories about the things you experience
- Don’t be afraid
- You don’t need permission
Simple as that 🙂