Inspiration. & Some writing advice.

I've always wanted to talk about the inspiration for my stories, because I think inspiration is a really huge part of stories.
And I'd like to talk a little about inspiration in general. Think of this as a sort of pep-talk for anyone who wants to know how I do what I do. Sort of?

So. Shadows of the World.
It's no surprise that supernatural plots have been popping up all over the place because of - well - Twilight.
I want to say that I didn't write Shadows so I could have my own fantasy-ish story that was really unlike Twilight. Even though a lot of people said that they were glad Shadows existed because it was like...anti-Twilight? I dunno.
The inspiration came from "The Lady of Shallott" which is this poem I read, oh uh, I dunno, like last year.
There's this one passage where it says:

And moving through a mirror clear
That hangs before her all the year,
Shadows of the world appear.

And it made me think of dreams. Because I always think of dreams when I think of shadows, because dreams are sort of like the shadows of our minds. I know, I'm so deep, right?
Anyway, 'shadows of the world' also made me think of like...the darkness within people that you can't really see when you're looking at them directly. So it made me think of the things about people that you just don't really know until you take the time to really look.

The whole dream part of it, how Clio first discovers she cares about Carson, well that came from my own experience. One night I had this dream about a guy and the next morning I woke up, couldn't forget the dream and started to have this huge freaking crush on him. And I thought it would be pretty plausible if that happened, you know?

All right then. Next, Soliloquy.
The inspiration for Soliloquy always makes me feel stupid and excited at the same time.
Because this is what inspired Soliloquy:


Why yes, that is Sonny Moore from the band From First To Last in the music video for The Latest Plague! That, like, two seconds of video inspired Soliloquy.
Oh yeah, you guessed it. Soliloquy used to be Sonny Moore fanfiction. Back when I WROTE fanfiction. Way back in like early 07.
Here's the first attempt at Soliloquy, more than two years ago: Click and cover your eyes!!

I like that Soliloquy is about two years in the making, probably even a little more. It's been rewritten as fanfiction about three times and then as original fiction countless other times.

But yes, when you had really good looking actors in your head for Alphonse, I had Sonny Moore stuck in my head. Who I used to be in love with and now...erm well, uh. ugh. I like his new music, but...eck.

I love my inspiration for Pale Moon.
I was listening to the song "The Last Unicorn" by America over and over again. And I just wanted to write a story that incorporated all the feelings of the movie The Last Unicorn. And I was listening to it and I started writing.

I had no idea really what it was going to be about until the third paragraph when I suddenly had this image of the main girl standing in the snow and a wolf coming up to her and turning into a man. And the first thought that hit my head when I thought of that was...(excuse my language) OH. FUCK. Because I didn't want to write a story about werewolves.

And I mean, if you write a story about werewolves you HAVE to include vampires. You just can't do one without the other. It's pretty much impossible.

But the idea was so perfect that I couldn't silence it so I just wrote. And I looked up greek vampires. And Norse mythology about Fenrir. And everything started to sound less and less like a bad Twilight parody and more and more like something I'd actually write.

OH AND. To really appreciate Pale Moon, you should seriously, seriously, SERIOUSLY watch the movie The Last Unicorn. If you don't own it or whatever, you can watch it easily online here: Click here now.

It's an 80s animated movie, but honestly, I cried so hard when I watched it.
It is not like your regular fairy tale whatever. It does not have a very happy ending. You will feel very, very sad. Because when you're all grown up, you understand that it's not about a quest to find Unicorns, but it's like the path that children (more or less, GIRLS) take from when they are innocent kids to well, women.

But it needs to be watched.

We Were Birds was inspired by like, four lines of text in the last Harry Potter book.
I can't exactly tell you what that was, but you may guess it at the next chapter.
Just um.
Think trains.

(Actually, now that chapter 3 is posted, I think I can share the exact few lines that inspired me...

"Dumbledore smiled at him. 'We are in King's Cross, you say? I think that if you decided not to go back, you would be able to...let's say...board a train.'
'And where would it take me?'
'On,' said Dumbledore simply.")

I'm not going to lie. People ask me a lot about what makes my stories so...'novel' like. The short answer is you need an idea and frankly, you're never just going to get an idea if you sit around and wait for one to come.
Believe me, I've tried.
Doesn't work.

So get up. Get out. Listen to music. Every chapter of Pale Moon is inspired by a different song (and I plan to, at the end of Pale Moon, put together a downloadable playlist of all those songs). Pay attention in school. Sometimes they do say some interesting things. I know. No way, right? I mean, the alchemy part of Soliloquy came from a paper on Alchemy I wrote for my freshman English class. The idea never left.

And here's my most important piece of advice: CARE.
If you care about your stories, other people will. If you take the time to construct a plot, to formulate characters that people can believe, people will read it. If you love your stories, so will other people. If you blow them off, then you shouldn't expect anything, because frankly, it's what you deserve (it's called tough love, deal with it).

It's basically the golden rule. I know that stories, books, novels, whatever aren't things with feelings. But if you love your stories, they will love you back. As in, other people will love them.

So yeah. Don't sit around and wait for an idea to pop into your head, cause a lot of times, it won't happen. Don't blow through your story just because you don't feel like writing something, even if you know you should.

And er.
That's it.
March 21st, 2009 at 02:56am