Thursday, 3 January 2013

Finding Inspiration - WriYe

The WriYe blogging circle has started up again for 2013 and the first post of the year is a good topic to get started with, because it's what gets my writing started - inspiration. (Yes, I'm in a stupidly corny mood today. My fingers have detached themselves from the part of my brain which usually censors out such ridiculous-sounding sentences...)

So the question is 'Where do you get your initial spark of inspiration? Is it from anything important? What else about inspiration intrigues you? What is your advice to other people to kick start their inspiration?'

I get by inspiration from all over the place, but these are the most common places I go to or things I do when I'm stuck for an idea:
  • Find an interesting picture via Google and write about it. People can be interesting, because once I've created a character I usually think of a setting for them to be in. Places can be useful if I'm stuck for a location, or if I just want to practice my descriptions.
  • An item of clothing, eg. a scarf. Describe the item of clothing in detail and then go on to what the person wearing it might look like. If there's no person, then where has the item of clothing been left? Why has it been left there? Etc, etc, etc.
  • Word lists. Do an internet search for 10 word prompts and go from there, or just open a newspaper to a random page and take the first word from each line (excluding things like a, the, and, and so on) then write a few paragraphs using those words somewhere. As an example, the newspaper in front of me offers volunteers, heritage, market, learning, thank, before, running, eight and cakes.
  • Wanted adverts or for sale ads. Why is that person looking for a tonne of horse manure? Why is the double memory foam mattress for sale having never been used? What could you do with that free brick rubble on offer? These are real adverts I've seen, but it can be just as fun to make some up.
  • Obituaries can be just as interesting. I've seen death notices requesting that all people coming to the funeral wear fancy dress. Why? What kind of person would have a fancy dress funeral?
  • Go for a walk. Watch the people you pass and the places. There's a house with a boarded up window? Why? What could have happened? You pass an old lady who walks with a limp and wears a very expensive looking coat but a cheap haircut. What's her story? A bollard is dented in the middle of the road. Who dented it, how and why?
There are other things I get inspiration from as well, but this is the main list of places.