By Gina Burgess
Truman Capote:Writing has laws of perspective, of light and shade just as painting does or music. If you are born with them, fine. If not, learn them then rearrange them to suit you.
Just what we were talking about last week. Frankly, no two writers will work, or write, in the same way. No two writers will be inspired in the same way by the same thing. I’m wondering what inspires you. Where do you get your inspiration?
Jack London said that you can’t wait for inspiration, “you have to go after it with a club.” Crude, but true. Too often my blog has my tirades against political things and societal breakdowns. Things I read that I hate about the human condition we live in today. You might know that kind of feeling: clenched teeth, lips pressed together, quickened breathing, heightened blood pressure, and indignation coming to a boil. It is also full of my incredible, sheer wonder of the blessings God gives and the words He breathed.
My inspiration usually comes with love and passion for something. I have to confess a terrible secret. I’m not sure I could live very long without the internet. When curious about something, I look it up on the internet. The other day I needed to know what would happen to a person if their airway was cut off and they got a body punch to the upper chest. After two hours of research, I knew quite a bit about divers’ bends–air embolisms. This inspired a plot point in my WIP.
Writing can be a lonely business.
By nature, we are social creatures. We often need solitude to word, but when we surface we need to mix with people. Without the interaction we can become so stagnant we’re distasteful to be around. It is the practice of interaction that helps us to write believable characters, and to draw creative, but believable situations these characters live in and through.
A factor that inspires Stephen King: Normal, everyday people, how they are and what they say. It’s also important to remember that no one is ‘the bad guy’ or ‘the best friend’ or ‘the whore with a heart of gold’ in real life; in real life we each of us regard ourselves as the main character, the protagonist, the big cheese; the camera is on us , baby. If you can bring this attitude into your fiction, you may not find it easier to create brilliant characters, but it will be harder for you to create the sort of one-dimensional dopes that populate so much pop fiction.
Stephen King often used the “What if…” inspiration. (After I read this, I used it many times.) He said in his book, On Writing, “The basics: forget plot, but remember the importance of ‘situation.'” Neither Cujo,or Salem’s Lot were plotted but came from considering, “What if…”
What usually inspires you?
What was your last What if… consideration and did it lead to a great story? Where did you get your last inspiration for your work in progress?
Please tell me you don’t look at a blank blog post screen and your first sentence is: I’m blank. I just don’t know what to write about today.