So I plugging through my Facebook feed, grimacing at typos and errors and text speak, when an ad pops up in front of my eyes.
“1 Free Plot that can guarantee you a best seller.”
Ummmmm…I think. I suppose a beginning writer would need a plot that works. Then I began to wonder how much this plot included. Does it give you a basic outline or does it specifically tell you what each character should do and you just fill in the names and make certain you haven’t plageurized. An interesting thought to be sure. Which got me thinking, people ask me where I find my inspiration.
Most artists have a muse, right. So far, I just write while crime shows are playing in the background. But people make me think about where I come up with ideas. And I suppose it comes from questions mostly.
I ask a lot of what ifs and where ifs and who ifs and how ifs. And I fill in the blanks from there. My alternative history always comes from, “What if such and such happened instead?” Sometimes they matriculates into a more specific story line and sometimes it doesn’t.
Some of my inspiration comes from my kids. Watching them play out their games in the yard or listening to them tell stories. Or showing them some parts of history they would never learn in a traditional classroom in America. We tend to glorify ourselves in our own history.
Sometimes in my research and just for fun looking at things, I get ideas for stories. The most recent came from an article posted to Facebook that I forwarded to my teen, asking for her perspective. It was an eyewitness account of the German occupation of Austria. Later, I was watching the History channel and Hunting Hitler came on. I wondered what would happen if all the posed in this show actually happened. Where would we be now?
A story I plan on writing for the next NANOWRIMO has to do with Scottish history. A what if they won a war for independance from Britain? What if they managed to take over Britain itself? It’s an interesting study. Will it become a book or a series, who knows? Not me at least not yet.
If you’re digging for inspiration, you may be thinking about it too hard. The most important thing when it comes to inspiration is this: It has to relate to something you enjoy or you will lose the story as you try and write it. If you don’t enjoy the topic, don’t write about it.
It’s really that simple. If I didn’t enjoy history or steampunk or fantasy, I wouldn’t write it. Many writers say it’s easiest to write what you know but I would add “and enjoy” to that sentence. It can be as simple as that.
- Don’t over think it.
- Make certain it is something you will enjoy writing.
- Make sure you create an environment suitable to you writing, whatever that may be.
- And many add write everyday. Create the habit and the ideas will start to flow. (I don’t subscribe to this one, but you’re more than welcome to do so.)