It never ceases to amaze me where inspiration for stories can come from.
Within one of my first semesters at my university, I came up with a story in my head by just looking at the spiral patterns on the tile floor. A story was there, literally, on the floor. A vampire's face was in a woman's neck and they were in Victorian style clothing, and slowly the story came to me. Though I should've paid more attention to the class, I just couldn't help but stare at this image and get a story rolling in my head.
My good friend Randi Lee has been inspired by a coffee-table. She said to me, "I was bored and observing my aunt's coffee table. There were knicks and coffee stains all over it. So I sat there and pondered how each of those stains and scratches came to be. I weaved a story about the people who used the table and what they might have used it for." Randi even made a poem of it that is simply amazing.
Inspiration can come from anywhere. And you shouldn't ever shrug off an idea just because it comes from a very unusual place. And sometimes you just gotta get out there and simply (be creepy) and stare. Does that chewed up piece of gum look like a deformed face of George Washington and now you have a zombie apocalypse novel? Write it! Did you come up with the back story of a model on a billboard? Write it! Miss-read a word and misinterpreted what was said? Write it!
Sometimes the most fascinating stories can come from the most boring objects. And sometimes it really shows a great amount of creativity.
And yet, sometimes they come from other places as well. I'm thinking of dreams. Dreams can be such a place for inspiration if you can remember what happened of course. They can be the most random, nonsensical images one can possibly imagine. Sometimes it doesn't even seem like there is a story there amongst the madness. But there is.
Maybe it is just a small scene within the dream, or a character, or a place. But there is something there that can really inspire you for something awesome. Recently I got a whole new fantasy series from a dream. It was such an experience to actually be part of the story before even writing it.
It was madness, but by searching through that madness and digging up the story I found something wonderful that can be polished into something grand. The work just comes from grasping on to the story and buckling down and writing it.
So don't be weary of awkward places of inspiration. Sometimes the adventure comes from finding the inspiration and not the writing itself.
What are your most random, interesting, adventurous objects that have inspired you to write?
Workshop: The Secret (prt. 2)
This week is another secret. But instead of your main character keeping a secret from (only) you, there is another character keeping a secret from your main character. Search through your characters and have one have a discussion with your main character. Let them reveal a secret about themselves that the Main-Char and, perhaps, even yourself didn't know. Like before, this can be a very simple secret to something life-changing.
Write out their scene, the secret, and the response. See what your character would feel and how they would respond to such a thing. Through this you will go even deeper into your character's personality or perhaps solidify your original idea about them.