Sunday, September 14, 2014

Inspiring Yourself

You often hear of writer's coming onto ideas from outside sources: a girl playing in the park, big or small events in history, their childhood (shoot, I did that with the novel I'm currently querying). But I recently inspired myself in two ways, first by digging into memories and second intentionally seeking out experiences to cultivate story ideas.

About a week ago, my husband and I moved the items in our small storage unit to a larger one so we'd have a place to store our outdoor recreational vehicles in the Wyoming winter weather. I decided to crack open a box, and discovered some albums and notebooks filled with pictures from my early family vacations and snippets of writing I'd jotted down. A bit of a story began to take shape in my head.


 Almost a month ago, my mom asked if she could ride back home with me to help with the driving and my daughters. And on the way she wanted to stop and see her Father. I insisted if we were going that far south, we might as well stop and see some historical sites. Seeing the Aztec dwellings near my grandfather's formed a foundation for the story I'd barely started.




Ways such as these can help a writer spark their own creativity. Drawing from items or experiences of your own pave the way for a plot rich in personal details, emotions, and rev up all the senses. Have you ever fired up your own writerly genius? Has it lead to a novel plot or other creative processes?

6 comments:

  1. I frequently read historical nonfiction to get my creative juices going—whether it's a setting, culture, event, or even whole characters, I've found history to be my perfect go-to for inspiration. Especially because you can usually transplant something from history into a totally different setting/time period (whether fantasy/sci-fi/etc.) and find plot bunnies there just waiting to be harvested. Er, that metaphor took a dark turn, but I think you get my point. ;)

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    1. This is great! I might take a leaf from your book. hahaha. Thanks for your comment!

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    2. Harvesting bunnies Hayley? Remind me never to get you to dog-sit!!! ;)

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    3. Hayley, it's okay. We like dark turns here.

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  2. I find plot bunnies when I'm out and about, so I make sure whenever we're driving (my family is 6hrs one direction, my hubby's 6 in a different direction), I have my pen and paper with me. When last at my inlaws we were driving through the country side (not quite the outback), and I pictured myself on a bus watching the scenery flicking by and I created a whole plan in my head about who the girl on the bus was, where she was going, why, who was sitting next her etc....Jotted it down. My next WIP perhaps?

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    1. That must be a thrilling ride! That's for commenting.

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