Words on Wednesday is going to be all about a part of the writing process as I do it, so look out for posts on drafting, revisions, and things in between and things that cover all of those things.
Today, I’m going to talk about inspiration. That little thing that is definitely different for everyone and can come in so many forms it’s like:
So… here are the things that I go to for inspiration.
Music has been a big part of my writing process for a very long time. Whether it’s the story’s “soundtrack” on my phone, or a long playlist on Spotify that I use while drafting a Work In Progress, I start to associate songs with scenes, characters, and sometimes the whole book throughout the whole process of working on something. In recent months, mostly on my YA Paranormal Romance, Storybook Endings, I’ve been inspired by the likes of Taylor Swift, One Direction and the soundtrack of the most recent Cinderella film. There’s something about lyrics, beautiful instrumentals and the way people use music to express themselves that makes me, the Muse, and the Inner Editor happy.
Other books can inspire me too. Either the content, which can vary according to what I’m working on, or the style. In terms of the style and how they write, my biggest inspirations are Neil Gaiman and CS Lewis. Of course, my inspirations and influences can change week by week, depending on what I’m working on. My current influences are YA contemporaries, seeing as I’m writing one.
TV and Film
The first of my visual sources of inspiration is film and TV, but not because of the visual quality. Because of the stories that they show. The ability to show a story in two and a half hours or over several months always impresses me in terms of plot development, character development and use of settings. It’s also a good way to see how tropes are used and subverted, and remind myself of the many tropes that are around. Particular favourites are Grimm, Once Upon a Time and About Time
The second of my visual sources of inspiration is images. Whether it’s a character model (any excuse to look at hot people, right?), a setting, or a quote on a pretty background, the right image can trigger all sorts of things. Virtual moodboards, like pinterest, are a good way to collect images and whenever I’m stuck or need reminding of something, I like to look at the board for whatever it is I’m working on.
Ah, yes. The website that we were told never to go near when working on essays. True, it’s not always reliable, but there are so many articles on there that one thing can lead to another, which can lead to inspiration, and sometimes it can remind you of an important fact that was hidden in the depths of your mind. I wouldn’t recommend using it for non-fiction, though.
TV Tropes is a goldmine of tropes, hence the name. Split into categories, each page explains a trope and then gives examples of how it’s used across different media, and sometimes, in Real Life. It’s amusing and informative, and can give me many ideas for tropes to include and to subvert and to avoid.
So that’s what I use for inspiration. What do you use?