Inspiration

Inspiration is a driving force that keeps the pen moving or the fingers typing. For some, it might be hard to come by but others find it easily. I find the most troubling aspect of inspiration is its fleeting nature.

You might be sitting on an idea, but you have no sense of direction for it. You are stuck. We have all been there at some point. I have to admit I draw blanks quite often in mid sentence and with no idea how to continue, I might leave it open ended to finish another time or trash the idea altogether. Maybe it’s not meant to be or maybe a little inspiration would help.

Regardless of what potential there is, there is still the matter of figuring it out. Inspiration comes in many forms and tends to appear suddenly with an equally swift disappearance. Inspiration, or rather a lack thereof, is a major cause for some writers to go long periods without writing and that becomes frustrating.

So how do we fuel inspiration? There is no single answer, many possibilities exist, but not all of them will work for every individual.

Music is powerful and might help stir some emotions to get you thinking about the complexities of life, or vice versa- simplicity is important too.

Nature. Go outside and breathe in the fresh air. Look at the trees, the rivers and creeks, the woodland creatures and stretches of cultivated farm land.

You love the city? The flood of people walking down broadway? Think about their story, where they might be headed or how they got there that day. What do you see in dank and quiet alley next to your apartment complex? I suggest thinking about what you love whether it be the outdoors, city life, a movie or song or another author’s story.

On a second line of thought, you can take that advice twist it around. Picture the things you love and now imagine them in ruin, shattered remnants of a distant memory. What were to happen should a fire, natural or otherwise, raze a town? Life is never going to always be perfect, so take something beautiful and distort it. By destroying something cherished you can open the story up in a whole new way and introduce heroism, vengeance, justice, mercy, sacrifice and mourning, which in turn will open another set of opportunities.

Though I usually experience a continuous flow of inspiration throughout the day (most inconveniently while I am sitting through an important lecture) I do go through dry spells too. I favor imagery because I process best, visually. I also follow a cause-effect guideline in all that I do. If cause A (events, actions, etc…) happens, effect B (consequences, benefits, or both) will undoubtedly occur. It is a simple thing that you might not consider but it helps move a story along.

If you have trouble picturing something that has not yet been decided, try making an outline. Start with what you know and expand upon those ideas with the ripples of cause and effect in mind. If your story demands a more complicated approach then make sure you clearly define the laws of the world you have created. Write them out. For example, if physics does not exist in your universe then cause and effect may not apply in the same manner but there are still boundaries.

If anyone ever needs someone to bounce ideas off of, feel free to ask me! Best wishes in finding your inspiration!

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