Tuesday, January 21, 2014

How Do You Get Inspired?

I've been thinking a lot about this topic lately.  A lot of people ask me where I come up with the ideas in my book; which is a surprisingly personal question when I really think about it, because so much of my inspiration for my stories comes from life.  Fantasy, or the world of Cobbogoth just happens to be the lens with which I filter life.  I'm not sure what that says about me psychologically, but there it is.  

I've started noticing, however that one of the storytelling mediums that I find most inspiring is movies.  You'd think a writer would get more inspiration from books, but that's not the case with me.  I actually use them both, but at separate times in my writing process.

I think in pictures, and therefore, pictures tend to be what gets my creative juice flowing.  Before I ever write a scene, I have to visualize it like a movie scene. So when I see a movie I really like--one that inspires me story wise, or that does a very cool storytelling technique that I want to implement or master for my own storytelling tool box, I go back and watch the movie at least three times. Repetition is my way of learning something inside and out. (My husband can't do this--repetition drives him crazy.)

After really considering my "idea gleaning" tactics, however, I realized that studying storytelling techniques through movies is only beneficial to me at the beginning stages of my writing--when I'm just starting to story map, brainstorm, and outline my novel.  I think that's because when I'm in that phase of writing--the purely creative mode--language tends to get in my way, hindering the creative juices.  If I can just allow myself to simply visualize my story--not worrying about writing technique--the story flows out of me freely.

But when I sit down to do the actual writing of my story, I read like a crazy woman. And it doesn't even matter what I'm reading (surprisingly, I don't read fantasy very often.) But just having a constant diet of words flowing through my brain tends to help my own writing flow so much more naturally.

So, to summarize, a steady diet of life, movies and books really inspires me!  What storytelling mediums inspire you? Are you a student of life?  Are you an avid movie goer? Are you a voracious reader? How about all three? Or do you do something entirely different, like listen to music (something I do every other time except when I'm writing)?

Whatever you do, please share! We can all learn from each other!

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