Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Where do you get your writing inspiration?

Crazy as it seems, I get my writing inspiration from the weather. I mean, there are other things too, like other books, faces in crowds, newspaper or television programmes (more on this later). But the weather can give me an idea for a WIP when nothing else can.

I write Contemporary YA fiction, and the setting, the characters' little world plays an important part in their lives. For example The Brightest Fell is set in a small, Somerset (Southern England) town, in particular the dull, apparent safety of the suburbs. But the town is right next to thick, dark woodland, which is almost a character in the book (the woodland=the place where bad shiz happens). And it's October, and always raining.

That sets a totally different scene than a book set in a thriving city or swelteringly hot beach, and I found I got most of my inspiration when it was raining. Considering I live in England, I therefore got plenty of story-planning time...

On the flip side, my current WIP is set in an isolated rural village in the middle of a hazy summer heatwave, so I don't expect to get much weather inspiration on that.

Plenty of people say they get inspiration from the news, whether its a person or a situation. The character of Luke Gardener (male main character of TBF) and his plight started when I watched the horrific story of the Chandlers, a couple who were taken hostage by Somali Pirates and held for months and months before they were rescued. It made me think, what if that had happened to a teenager? What if it wasn't on a boat, but somewhere safe and close to home he was taken from? And what if, unlike the Chandlers, he didn't get a hero's welcome, because he wasn't necessarily a hero?

So the whole point of this post is, even random things like the weather can give you inspiration. I don't get good ideas very often, so take everything I say with a pinch of salt, but I wouldn't worry about getting new WIP ideas all the time. They might even come to you when you're eating WagonWheels and hot chocolate in front of the telly...

Where do you get your inspiration? Any crazy, random things that make you think? And is anyone else obsessed with WagonWheels?

14 comments:

  1. Hello,

    First no idea what Wagon Wheels are. Sorry. But I've totally get being influenced by the weather. Minus stories involving cold weather disasters (snow, blizzards, frozen pathways) I'm good. Not much of those in Florida. But lots of sun, HEAT, rain, and everything else. Some days it is easier to just go out and get a feel for things, a sunny day, the way the sun feels on your skin, or play in the rain *yes I still do this on occasion* I say take inspiration when and where it comes. Anything.

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    1. Ha, WagonWheels must be a Brit thing :) They're this totally yummy chocolate biscuit and marshmallow sandwich thing that I'm obsessed with...mmmmmmm...anyway, lucky you in sunny Florida - my friend went to Disneyworld and apparently she now wants to go to Florida on her gap year x

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  2. My inspiration comes from a lot of different things--people I see, places I go. I'm not sure I can peg it down to one single thing. But weather is also inspirational for me at times too!

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    1. Glad it's not just me with the weather thing ;)

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  3. Inspiration at least for me is always random. It hits me when I'm not looking for it. For one of my WIP's I was out for a drive with my BF and I noticed a sign on a tree. It said Tina that's it. Then up the road a little further was another sign with another word and so on and so on. Each tree had a new word, a piece to the puzzle. It was something along the lines of I love you and I think there might have been a marriage proposal at the end but I didn't see the last sign. Probably because I was writing in my notebook. It was the perfect end to a story. I changed it to an apology and YA (of course) and created a story around these signs. See random. lol

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    1. Ah, cool - and btw, I would totally read that book x

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  4. The weather inspires me too! Like you, I am in England and the winter is when I am most productive. All that rain, snuggling up with a nice cup of hot chocolate and my laptop - bliss!

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    1. ...And then Russel Howard's Good News comes on the TV and the day gets even better ;)

      Our winters are long and dreary, aren't they?

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  5. I get my inspiration from all over the place. Can't say I've ever been inspired by the weather but there was a horrible snow storm a few years back that I kind of want to write a story around. I usually get inspiration from pictures and music. My current wip takes place in a beach town, and I don't live in a beach town so pics of the ocean, sand, beaches, really help to give me an idea of the setting. Then there are lines in songs that I like to write down that fit what my wip is about.

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    1. Same! Some songs are just MADE to be books...

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  6. Hey Amy! I completely agree with you about the weather. It is so inspiring and can be a real integral part of setting.

    I have a lot of triggers that inspire me (people, places, things, music, etc). Sometimes, my crazy brain just goes off into la la land, all on it's lonesome. Not sure if this is funny or frightening, but my family always teases me about it.

    They'll say, "And, we've lost her.." OR "Mom's not here right now, please try again later when she gets out of her head."

    Guess that's just one of many problems living with a writer presents. LOL

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    1. Hey :)

      I know what you mean about zoning out - I always find my most productive time is on the bus to and from school with my iPod in. But now I'm driving, the roads aren't going to be safe when I'm planning a WIP! lol

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  7. I would say everywhere, but mostly from people watching. I have to agree with the above (re: zoning out) because I do that a lot...and not always at the greatest time. I'll have whole conversations with my hubby that I barely remember because my mind is in writer's zone.

    Happy Hump Day!
    My Blog

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  8. I get inspiration from the strangest places, and ideas constantly sprout in my brain as I'm driving and without a pen. Thank goodness for the iPhone4S. I tell Suri story ideas all the time :)

    My current WIP has a setting that really comes alive, too. Setting isn't my strong point, so I'm working on making it stand out more!

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