'What' inspires you most to write ?

editing_for_authors
Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

Jason

Ideas bounce around in my head
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Oct 26, 2016
Messages
5,930
Reaction score
998
Location
Nashville, TN
I have to get something outside of me that's inside.

This.

I read something, hear something, see something...then it brews internally for a while.

Then I ask, "What if...?" And suddenly a new plot/story/scene or something comes from within that I feel the urge to get out.

Most often it finds a few paragraphs, others maybe only a few sentences. A few have made it into full short stories. Even fewer make it to longer works.

Then there's the second draft...*sigh*
 

April Swanson

Happy Beeps
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 7, 2018
Messages
904
Reaction score
66
Location
Far, far away (but not far enough)
Website
aprilswanson.com
Writing is my way of interpreting music. When I hear a track, a scene plays out in my head. Without music, I have no stories to tell. My biggest love in life is music, not writing -- writing is simply the easiest way I can connect with music. However, I'm glad I never pursued a career in music because I would hate my biggest passion to become a chore or a source of negativity.


Edit: I said 'music' so many times in that post that the word now sounds weird!
 

Kat M

Ooh, look! String!
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jan 4, 2019
Messages
851
Reaction score
220
Location
Puget Sound
Writing is my way of interpreting music. When I hear a track, a scene plays out in my head. Without music, I have no stories to tell.

Me too!

Does your writing always have a musical connection, or sometimes (or all the time) not have anything to do with music?
 

Davy The First

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Nov 25, 2013
Messages
273
Reaction score
24
It more of a well I dip into BEFORE WRITING ,
Currently listening to the excellent Folk Alley stn.

In the last few minutes, from most recent. FAB
Laura Marling
Paul Simon
Nick Drake
Che Apalache

- - - Updated - - -

It more of a well I dip into BEFORE WRITING ,
Currently listening to the excellent Folk Alley stn.

In the last few minutes, from most recent. FAB
Laura Marling
Paul Simon
Nick Drake
Che Apalache
 

TeresaRose

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 6, 2018
Messages
1,113
Reaction score
92
Most often I am inspired by real-life events. Usually, it's something that happens to me and then I work in extra 'puzzle pieces.' It all started many years ago when a friend's marriage was in trouble. I advised her of a few things to spice things up in the bedroom. Then I thought, hey I should write this down. Once I started writing I couldn't stop. My brain was bombarded by all these fun, crazy, erotic notions. Over 50 short sexy stories manifested, but I did not query them. When I went on a tropical holiday, with the idea of finishing them, crazy things happened and crazy people, as though they were characters out of a book, entered my life. I wrote a book about that. Queried it, but it didn't take off, much to my dismay. Maybe one day. My second novel, which I just started querying, is again, based on personal experiences and then heavily doused with ideas from my imagination.
 

ChaseJxyz

Writes birds and bird accessories
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jul 5, 2020
Messages
946
Reaction score
455
Location
California
Website
www.chasej.xyz
One of the pinned images on my Twitter says "My reasons for doing things: 1. Spite 2. The aesthetic. That's it. Okay I lied. 3. Attention" and honestly? It's that.

There are people in the world that HATE that queer people exist or are in stories and I want to make them mad. Such as this one person I'm thinking of that think that transgender people aren't real and we only exist to hurt or abuse others. I want them to waste their time and energy being upset that people read and enjoy my stories and see that trans people are people and not scary monsters.

I have images or scenes in my head that I think are really cool and I would also like people to see those really cool things. Magic birds and gays with swords and landscapes full of ancient megafauna. I can't draw, but I can write! So that's how I share my cool ideas.

And I like attention!!! I like people telling me my ideas are good or they like my characters or they had emotional reactions to what I wrote. There was this anime that had a character where we didn't know his real name, and as soon as it was leaked (from episode credits) I wrote an angsty fanfic that was all about the name reveal so I could be the first person in that character's name tag. And like I predicted I got a lot of attention from it! Which was great. I could always use more attention.
 

gothicangel

Toughen up.
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Nov 29, 2008
Messages
7,866
Reaction score
660
Location
North of the Wall
History.

My current WIP was inspired after a trip to Ireland last year (County Kerry). Despite growing up in the 1980s in the peak of The Troubles in NE England (I remember being in Newcastle when a (false) bomb alert was made) my knowledge was abysmal (it really should be taught in UK schools). A few months later I came across the story of Northern Ireland's Disappeared (people accused of being British informers who were killed and secretly buried (mainly) by the IRA. As I started writing and researching I then came across documentaries recounting how the RUC (NI police force back then) were involved in colluding with Loyalist groups with the backing of the British government. My initial idea was that the IRA were the villains but as I read more it was obvious both sides were responsible for atrocities (and the new way made a better, less cliched plot).

That's the thing when you write about history, you don't have to make it up it's just there.

When I've finished this book I want to focus on a series about Robert the Bruce, the true history. It's just there (and much better than how Braveheart told it).
 

seashelly

Registered
Joined
Dec 4, 2016
Messages
35
Reaction score
2
Location
Midwest
When I feel very strongly about something, that feeling urges me to write. Not a soapbox kind of writing, but incorporating it into a plot or a character's personality or actions.
 

neandermagnon

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Oct 25, 2014
Messages
4,577
Reaction score
1,159
Location
Dorset, UK
Website
cavepeopleandstuff.wordpress.com
I was going to say that I write because I'm fascinated by human evolution, the middle palaeolithic era in particular, and Neandertals even more so, however I started writing before I knew what the middle palaeolithic era was or what Neandertals were.

The real reason is that my whole life I've had "imaginary friends" in my head and as a kid I would play with toys like lego that included little people and they would act out the stories in my head. Or sometimes I'd physically act out the stories. Yes on my own. When I was 12 I realised I could write down the stories of these "imaginary friends" and they became novels (after a fashion - imagine a novel length single paragraph wall of text because I hadn't figured out paragraphs yet, with crap spelling and even worse punctuation).

They weren't really imaginary friends though. I didn't interact with them as myself. If I interacted with them it was as one of them (or swapping roles and being 2 or more imaginary friends). YES I was a very strange child. Anyway, there are still imaginary people living in my head but these days I stick to writing their antics down.

When I was studying human evolution, my desire to know what life was like back then resulted in me visualising it all in my head. Hence the emergence of various Neandertal and early Homo sapiens characters. One of the characters, who's half-Neandertal half-Homo sapiens, who is the main character in one of my novels came about because someone asked the question "I wonder what life was like for the first people who were half-Neandertal half-Homo sapiens?"

Sometimes things I see on TV or in life inspire scenes or part of a plot, or just wild imaginings, as it makes me wonder how my various characters would react in that situation.
 

bearilou

DenturePunk writer
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Aug 5, 2009
Messages
6,004
Reaction score
1,230
Location
yawping barbarically over the roofs of the world
My writing is inspired by random things. Song lyrics, an overheard conversation, tv show/movie dialogue or scene, a news headline, some random something somewhere that shows up at the right time that triggers the lightbulb moment for me to "oh yeah...that'd be good."
 

angeliz2k

never mind the shorty
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 24, 2008
Messages
3,674
Reaction score
363
Location
Commonwealth of Virginia--it's for lovers
Website
queensransom.wordpress.com
There seem to be two sorts of answer in this thread: psychological and literary.

Psychologically, I write for a-million-and-one reasons. I have a strong creative urge, and writing is something creative I'm particularly good at. I have a tendency to play out scenarios in my head--to plan, look ahead, and worry. That lends itself to playing out plot scenarios. I also tend to play out conversations in my head, both before and after they might happen or have happened. So, I'm replaying a conversation and thinking, Why didn't I say this or that? Or I'm thinking about some conversation and planning out what I'll say--which is pretty much never what I actually end up saying, of course. But in my head, I always have smart and witty things to say. When it comes to actual conversations, not so much. I forget to say/ask important things, I forget what people tell me... Writing is basically a way for me to get my say. I can get down all my clever little thoughts with time to fix it up and make it all as good as it can be.

On the more literary side, as far as what sparks actual ideas: a lot of things, but mostly other stories. This is usually stories from history, since I write historical fiction. For instance, I wrote a novel based (very, very loosely) on the life of Fanny Kemble, an English actress who married a Southern plantation owner, without apparently knowing he was a plantation owner, and ended up divorcing him. And I wrote a novel based around the story of a Southern civilian woman who went out and cared for the wounded of both sides during a battle near her home. I wrote a novel about the real brothers who inspired Peter Pan; the structure was inspired by Lincoln in the Bardo. It's usually a "what if" or a "bringing it to life" kind of impulse.

Of course, recently I've been in a weird place mentally and emotionally and haven't had the urge to write at all in the last year or so.
 

mccardey

wear a mask
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 10, 2010
Messages
14,256
Reaction score
5,311
Location
Australia.
I'm currently reading Tegan Bennett Daylight's "The Details" (which I cannot recommend highly enough - it's a perfect examination of writing, and writers and words) and I found and marked this passage last night:
Writing fiction is a response to reading fiction - an attempt to be part of a conversation.

That is probably the closest thing to what inspires me. It's the same thing that inspires me to read.
 

redstick

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Mar 28, 2019
Messages
71
Reaction score
6
Location
Louisiana
Website
www.jimriley.net
I enjoy creating something out of nothing. I'm a pantser. When I start a new ms, I have no idea where it will end. That's the most fun. I get to read the outcome first. Sometimes, I surprise myself.
 

Ellis Clover

watching The Office again
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Oct 8, 2013
Messages
409
Reaction score
66
Location
Blue Mountains, Australia
I'm currently reading Tegan Bennett Daylight's "The Details" (which I cannot recommend highly enough - it's a perfect examination of writing, and writers and words) and I found and marked this passage last night:

Writing fiction is a response to reading fiction - an attempt to be part of a conversation.

That is probably the closest thing to what inspires me. It's the same thing that inspires me to read.

I was lucky enough to have Tegan Bennett Daylight as a tutor at Uni. A compliment she gave me about my writing is one of the things that keeps me plodding on, continuing to believe in myself despite my near-absolute lack of breakthrough, more than 15 years later.

That passage is incredibly resonant for me, too. *adds The Details to my to-buy list*
 

TylerJK

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Oct 7, 2020
Messages
93
Reaction score
5
I get inspired by interesting people I see in real life. For example, I was in Niagara Falls over the summer and I saw a homeless gentleman in a wheelchair with a bottle of whiskey. I watched him using everything he had in him to get up Clifton Hill, at the top, he turned around and road his wheel chair down as fast as he could, a huge grin on his face while he went. Then, he did it again. I’m sure there’s a story around a character like that that needs to be told.
 

KTC

Stand in the Place Where You Live
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Mar 24, 2005
Messages
29,139
Reaction score
8,561
Location
Toronto
Website
ktcraig.com
For me, this changes all the time. Most recently (last 3-4 years) it's definitely been PLACE. Over the past year I wrote several short stories set in Paris and India. And my latest novel just released...it's set on the Camino de Santiago in Spain. The whole novel was inspired by my love of the Camino after walking it twice.

Prior to focusing more on place, I was kind of...well, all over the place. I mostly wrote about tough issues facing teens...I guess based on a desire to pick apart my own issues, in a way.

I think I'm going to keep going on PLACE for a while...I have a few ideas simmering...
 

Laurel

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Apr 27, 2016
Messages
62
Reaction score
4
I guess I'd have to say I'm most inspired by unusual concepts. Okay, that's super vague, huh? But I write fantasy, and I think a lot my ideas start with an interesting concept or a character dealing with strange circumstances. The ideas might be inspired by conversations I've had about the fantasy genre or history, or by any number of things. it's hard to narrow it down to one category.
 

Horrorschach

Registered
Joined
Dec 28, 2020
Messages
21
Reaction score
1
Is it valid to respond by shrugging your shoulders and muttering "I dont know"?
I get nibbles of inspiration but nothing that warrants my recently developed mania.
If I finish a book that ends in a crummy way I get a pang to make my own ending.
If something I read triggers an emotional response I get the urge to harness, retrofit, and share.
Sometimes I look around my lab full of wires and robotics and I inexplicably want to lash out in a different (and admittedly alien) way.
There is nothing profound that inspires me. I guess in some ways I'm experiencing death by a thousand inky papercuts and I want to exchange blows.
 

Cephus

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Apr 1, 2018
Messages
218
Reaction score
34
I chose to write, therefore I write. It's the same thing as anything else I decide to do with my life. All motivation comes from personal dedication. If you decide to do it and hold yourself accountable, you get it done.
 

Featured Book