Where do you get your inspiration?

Specifics about craft, talent, technique, etc.
Chris533
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Where do you get your inspiration?

Postby Chris533 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:09 pm

I saw this subject come up within another thread - on another subject and, a) I lost it, and b) figure it warrants it's own thread anyway.

So - when you're trying to come up with new stories - where do you get your ideas/inspiration?
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morganb
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Re: Where do you get your inspiration?

Postby morganb » Wed Oct 18, 2017 5:18 am

Ahhh...the age-old question. It always seems to be different for everyone. But I think what it really all comes down to is keeping an open mind and an active curiosity, trying to see old things in new ways, paying attention to what's going on around you, and always asking yourself, "What if...?" I find that when I'm doing all this, stuff just sort of pops in and the light bulb begins to glow.


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reigheena
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Re: Where do you get your inspiration?

Postby reigheena » Wed Oct 18, 2017 4:57 pm

A lot of my story ideas have come from playing video games and wanting to take things a different direction than they did. Such as "What if Zelda was jealous that Link found the Master Sword?"
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Re: Where do you get your inspiration?

Postby morganb » Thu Oct 19, 2017 3:54 am

reigheena wrote:A lot of my story ideas have come from playing video games and wanting to take things a different direction than they did. Such as "What if Zelda was jealous that Link found the Master Sword?"


Ha ha! That's awesome! And gives me a good excuse to play more video games. "I'm doing research honey, really!"


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Re: Where do you get your inspiration?

Postby LDWriter2 » Sun Oct 22, 2017 7:45 pm

Hmm, everywhere? Pictures are a major inspiration. Other stories, even novel length ones. Sometimes an idea will just pop into my head. Usually when that happens it is one scene and I need to do what led up to that scene and what comes after, if anything. Rare times a dream. Rare also is sometimes a phrase I hear or read. Another rare one is titles and blurbs for published books. I see what I can do with the same basic idea.
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Re: Where do you get your inspiration?

Postby pcmccollum » Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:50 pm

I think you're going to find a lot of repetition in this thread. wotf001

Just to give you an idea, here are the seeds from my last five stories:

  • A pink bottle of Mr. Bubbles
  • Storycubes
  • My childhood bedroom door that had what looked like a monster's face in its grain
  • 80s Hip-Hop culture
  • Tendai Monks of Japan that run A LOT over seven years.

We're writers! We should be able to find ideas anywhere.
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Re: Where do you get your inspiration?

Postby kentagions » Tue Oct 24, 2017 7:11 am

What is the most logical conclusion to a current trend? = Setting/milieu

What are the two most incongruous ideas (one SF and one character oriented) I can smash together to create the core problem of a story?

How will a character with certain traits react if she/he is forced into a situation where no choice has a positive outcome?

Humor: What is the most absurd conclusion to a current trend? = Setting/milieu

Humor: What is the funniest thing that can happen to this character in this situation at this time?

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Re: Where do you get your inspiration?

Postby tparchie » Wed Oct 25, 2017 2:35 pm

This is different for everyone. Observation of the writing groups I've been to suggests that many depend on a prompt. Professional authors have themes they work to - this I guess will tie into their respective book deals. A prompt seems artificial and forced to me. Themes aren't hard, there are thousands of them just waiting to be explored. The exploration side is different; I have a number of different ways of dealing with the actual process, depending on whether I'm progressing a scene, resolving a plot discontinuity or sharpening up a character.
Those different ways can mean going for a walk, sleeping on it, listening to a relevant musical piece in the car or just plain writing out the ideas (paper or PC). Sometimes, all it takes is a measured discontinuity to the process of writing, to get things to click.
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SueD
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Re: Where do you get your inspiration?

Postby SueD » Mon Mar 26, 2018 6:45 pm

I think about interesting scientific scenarios and eventually those morph into ideas for sci fi stories.

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DragonRider
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Re: Where do you get your inspiration?

Postby DragonRider » Thu Apr 05, 2018 2:57 pm

Usually I look at something in the world around me and decide to become interested in it, and ask myself "What if..." questions about the item.
Or place it on an alien planet and ... maybe it mutates. Or maybe there's a whole colony of beings living inside of it. Or it's actually a super-being in disguise, meddling with human thought and running experiments on us. Or...
Then I build from there. ;p
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BLAlley
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Re: Where do you get your inspiration?

Postby BLAlley » Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:13 pm

I never tried to come up with an idea. I wrote every story based on an idea which came to me in one form or another.

My books were inspired by:

Twin Arrows Trading Post.
Watching Baseball on TV.
A dream.
A paper by Professor Thomas J Weiler of Vanderbilt Physics Department
A flash fiction contest prompt
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Re: Where do you get your inspiration?

Postby RSchibler » Sat Jul 07, 2018 12:11 pm

My stories come from collisions of ideas. I usually picture a character, with some background ideas, and they sit in an empty room until another idea joins the space, a setting or a conflict that interests me. I bring them together to write my stories. The Writing Excuses podcast discussed a similar approach, that good stories don't come from one place but many. Nice to be in their company in one sense, anyway :)
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Re: Where do you get your inspiration?

Postby Elto_Danzig » Wed Jul 18, 2018 10:05 am

History, usually
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Re: Where do you get your inspiration?

Postby SueD » Mon Jul 23, 2018 3:51 pm

I have a list of interesting scientific what if ideas I’d like to explore. I think about them and daydream until I get story ideas that both work as a story and also as a vehicle for exploring the idea.

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orbivillein
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Re: Where do you get your inspiration?

Postby orbivillein » Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:58 am

From perturbations of my orbit, internal and external influences that bother or delight and complicate my life, that want understanding of their meanings, and probably shared by more than a few other people.

WaywardSaint
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Re: Where do you get your inspiration?

Postby WaywardSaint » Tue Aug 14, 2018 2:37 pm

Dreams. As in: things my subconscious mind turns loose on me while I sleep.
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Re: Where do you get your inspiration?

Postby michaeljwyantjr » Wed Aug 15, 2018 12:56 pm

What if X was true...
Politics...
Socio-economic inequality...
Mental Illness...

... as it affects a person right now/in the future/in the fantasy world I created.
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