Evernight Teen Publishing

Friday, May 17, 2013

Inspiration for writing:

A number of things can inspire a writer to actually sit down and lose themselves in the moment. For me, I have to have that certain song-dark and enchanting-to write the scene in my head. Or something can happen like what happened to me the other day. The sky was dark and gloomy and I glanced out my window at a large field, the grass overgrown and blowing in the wind, and all I could think of was how this particular field looked say Civil war era. I could see cannons spraying, shots ringing, and a soldier desperately clinging onto the hope he could make through the next battle as it would take him one step closer to the belle he left home. I instantly began thinking of names, times, places....
Of course, this was where he left her, or at least what I envisioned in my head. But that is another story for a different time and place!

When writing my debut novel, Black Amaranth, the first thing to spark my interest was the fact my husband was active in blacksmithing. I could see this lonely man, cast out from the rest of the village with nothing but his gloomy forge and memories to keep him company. What was his story? What was his isolation like? Did he keep a secret love in his heart? And then those questions led to research which led to my laptop and things seemed to fall into place from there. I'm a huge fan of iTunes and I created a specific song list so that when I wrote, lets say, a dramatic scene, I could hit repeat and listen to it for the duration of the chapter. Sparrow and the Workshop's "Blame It On Me", seemed to do the trick when I needed to convey the depth and gravity of many scenes in the book.

Different things work for different people. But music worked well for me. A certain tune can create an atmosphere that you want your characters to live in, like watching a movie during that epic moment when they're not talking, but the expressions on their face, or their muted words accompanied by some heavy score, makes you believe in the moment, makes you forget it's a movie.

I also find find that a nice hot shower, kids squared away in bed, and 2 hours of free time before having to force yourself to go to bed because you have to get up and go to work the next morning, serves for some good inspiration. Seize the moment when it comes no matter where you are. Keep a note pad with you at all times or a voice recorder. You never know what will serve as inspiration. Inspiration isn't planned (unless you have to go with the above due to dear children that you love!), it can occur anywhere and anytime. A walk in the park, a coffee shop, a dark alley, driving in the car...The list goes on.