Friday, April 24, 2009

Inspiration

My big question today is: where do you find inspiration?

This is a particularly good question for me because I just finished a manuscript and got it sent to my editor a few days ago. Hitting the send button is a weird feeling. At least I think so. Since my editor is in Australia, she was up and working as my day is coming to an end. It was around 1:30 a.m. and I'd been writing all day. My brain was sluggish to say the least and after I hit that button, I just felt kind of numb. I always have that reaction when I sent a story off. Maybe it's because I know it's time to wait and I'm not the most patient person in the world. Maybe it's because I'll be learning soon whether she loves my characters as much as I. I just don't know.


The numbness is still with me today and I figure I need to come up with another project. Don't know exactly what that will be yet. Have some ideas but they haven't quite "gelled" yet. I'm seriously considering a follow up to Feral Moon, a paranormal shifter story featuring panthers. Still unsure about that.

Today my daughter and I are heading up to see my son who is in college in Lubbock, Texas. We live in west Texas and will drive west then north through what is known as the "South Plains". And PLAINS it is. The entire area is flat and desertous dotted with buttes and plateaus. Pump jacks from producing oil wells, windmills, and cotton fields stretch out as far as the eye can see. Others might find this long, lonely stretch of highway boring as hell but for some reason, I never have. Looking out over the land, I always imagine Indians lining those plateaus looking down at me. I imagine them racing their ponies across the plains as tumbleweeds and dirt devils whip around all over the place.

It's inspirational. I found myself thinking that today while I'm driving that lonely stretch the stories will come to me. That's certainly the place for it. At least for me. Sometimes I get my story ideas while sitting alone in my backyard during the spring and summer. Sometimes it happens while I'm mindlessly driving somewhere. I've heard of others who wake up in the dead of night with a story screaming in their heads. That's happened to me a few times but not often.

So where do you get your inspiration?

18 comments:

J.K. Coi said...

It's funny, I get inspiration from the smallest thing. One sentence from a movie, or a song lyric. Maybe a hand gesture from someone in the supermarket--and then it lingers and builds until I'm ready to build a scene with it.

Regina Carlysle said...

Guess it just starts with really observing everything. Then the 'what ifs' start, huh? Song lyrics and movies are good. That might be my thing with driving, the radio is always on. :-)

Amber Skyze said...

Music is usually my first inspiration, driving the second. I make a 3 hour drive every other weekend and during that time stories fill my head. Have fun visiting your son. And my the muse be with you. :o)

Dr. Karl E. Taylor said...

Music first and foremost. Bond, E.S Posthumous, Alan Parsons, the classics, jazz and rock. I let my mind just drift as I listen and scenes and plot points just seem to flow from the music.

Then, there are the pictures. Pictures of ladies that inspire my characters. If I'm looking to create a new character, I go on an Internet hunt for a bright pair of eyes, or a special smile that inspire a character. And lest you think it pervy, I only hunt for the most expressive faces. She can have the world's hottest body, but if her eyes are flat and emotionless, sorry, not going into my stories.

Anny Cook said...

I sit down at the computer and just type what if... it seems to work.

Regina Carlysle said...

Oddly enough, sometimes my daughter will have music videos on and I'll find myself "thinking". They are such short things and usually kind of abstract. Good for making you think.

Anonymous said...

I'm woken up at night by stories or characters wanting to be set free. Driving is my quiet time to develope the ideas.
Tessie Bradford

Bronwyn Green said...

Music...snippets of conversation, but honestly, most ideas come to me in the shower. I think it's because it the only place where I get any peace and quiet around here! Because of that, I call my muse 'the sower faery.'

Bronwyn Green said...

Sigh...that would be the Shower Faery...not the Sower Faery...sheesh...but I guess the ideas are sown...so that kinda works, too.

Have a fun, safe trip and I hope the muse brings you something new and shiny soon. :)

Regina Carlysle said...

Usually when I'm in the middle of something and I'm just STUCK, I'll take a break and fold laundry. Weird, I know, but I guess there's something about the repetition of it that helps me solve a plot issue.

Julia Barrett said...

After finishing a manuscript, I have to come down - spend some time doing nothing and I give myself that opportunity to recharge my batteries. What turns the light back on? A song, a dream, a vision, an idea I've been kicking around for a while but haven't yet put on paper. Having a little fun works the best - I catch the ferry to the city, take a great bike ride, go to a ballgame, window shop...or I watch a really funny movie - that will often times jump start my next story!

Phyllis Campbell said...

Regina, I hate playing the waiting game, too. You'd think after eight years of being published, that I would get used to waiting. lol

As for things that inspire me - I think you're on the right track! I also like to watch romantic movies. Sometimes a secondary plot in the story with hit me and I'll think of a twist to the story. Sometimes just listening to a song on the radio it will inspire me. Reading the newspaper helps, too...although that's only if your a suspense writer. lol

Good luck with your new story!

~Phyllis~

Amy Ruttan said...

Anything can set me off.

Congrats on hitting send!! :)

Time to get cracking on the next. :P

Anne Rainey said...

Usually the characters themselves inspire me. I want to start getting what's in my head on paper. I want to make them come to life.

Congrats on finishing! :)

Kelley Nyrae said...

Anything can be inspiring. It just depends on my mood, how I'm seeing things. Some times I go crazy and nothing will come and then out of the blue....poof...I have an idea.

Susan Macatee said...

Inspiration comes to me from everywhere. Usually, when I send one story off, I already have a couple more in different stages of development to work on. And ideas for new stories continue to come at me from every direction. My well is never dry. Just very confusing. LOL.

Debra St. John said...

I tend to get inspired by music. I lyric (or an entire song) will bring to mind characters or ideas, and then it's off I go!

Mary Ricksen said...

My inspiration comes from a lot of different thing. I can wake up at 3:00am in the morning and have to write something down so I don't forget it.
I can relate to Anny, I just sit and it comes.