Monday, July 27, 2009

Writing Under the Influence.

Happy Manic Monday! My vaca is over and I'm off to the grind. Before I go, I want to talk about influences. Thing that make you go 'hmm?' That inspire a story or a character. Non written stuff that cause you to scrible notes on lunch napkins and try to descipher them later on at home.

There's the bad vices, drugs and alcohol, that some authors turn to. I can't go that route, they just make me sleep or write like I'm in kindergarten. Music is used often and one of my strongest influences but I'm want to talk but the weird things. The ones you keep in your closet.

Driving through a horrid snow storm in the mountains, where I live, gave birth to a new vampire. I haven't written her story yet, but she whispers to me. Watching an episode of So You Think You Can Dance last summer started my paranormal adventure in Budapest. Gardening this spring led to thoughts of aliens and brought my new sci-fi novella which I am presently working on.

What odd inspirations have you experienced? What did it make you write?


Sandra Sookoo said...

I can get inspired anywhere at any time. Take Foodie's Guide to Kitchen Magic for example. That was inspired by an innocent trip to a Penzey's Spice store. Or my contemporary book about a curvy girl and underwear. Inspired by my own fight with foundation garments. :-) Inspiration can happen anywhere we just have to be open and receptive to it :-)

Lakisha S said...

Sometimes the craziest things inspire us. When I took Children's Lit back at college in 2005, our professor handed us four cutouts and told us to write a short story up to 4,000 words.

It had been a long time since I'd stared at something that at first didn't motivate me but then spawned a short story that not only got me an A but so intrigued my professor that she chose it along with 2 others to share with the entire class.

I turned that short story into 2 full chapters of the beginning of a novel that I hope to revisit soon and finish.

I've also written poetry and a child's story (for my daughter) after seeing ordinary things (raindrop, an egg, etc).

I love inspiration. Without it, life would be dull.

J Hali said...

Poker After Dark. Don't laugh, I watch it all the time and recently Chris Ferguson inspired a short I'm now working on. It will also star Jennifer Tilly and a few others I cheer for to win. ROFLMAO. See, inspiration comes from just about anywhere for me.

Loved your question, Annie.

lienaferror said...

Indeed a great question, Annie.

For my first work I was inspired by my previous employment as a jewelry salesperson and a map. It created a suspense centering around diamonds and their secret location was coordinates that were hidden on a jewelry invoice. I hope to some day rework the story.

It's amazing what inspires us and often at the oddest times.


Rebecca Royce said...

Its just odd things that do it for me. Driving in the car, waking up from a strange dream, part of a conversation I overhear, and standing in line at the deli to name a few. I'm almost always brainstorming, even when I should be completely focused on something else.

Carrie said...

Driving is a big one for me...I don't know if it's the peace and quiet, or driving the same route day in and day out...but I can come up with tons of story ideas while driving. Unfortunately I have to write them down as soon as I stop the car or they're gone! Also while waiting for the snooze alarm to go off (again) is a good thinking time for me..

Sandy Lender said...

Everything inspires me. Dangerous when driving, I have to admit...I keep a notebook and pens in the car and, often, I'll prop that baby up on the steering wheel and jot down notes. It's a good way to get other drivers out of your lane...
One of my fave inspirational stories deals with me embarrassing the crap out of my poor mom when I was a tween. I used it in my "Letter to Visitors" on my new author website. Cute and fun, but, at the time, probably totally horrifying to Mom. So OF COURSE it had to go into a short story later in my life. What kind of writer would I be if I passed that up? He he he.
And I'm with the folks who use music for inspiration. My iTunes is quite eclectic so I can pick the mood, you know?
Fab topic!
Fantasy Author Sandy Lender
"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."

Annie Nicholas said...

LOL Sandy, I'll remember that driving tip next time I'm in traffic. Great quote at the bottom by the way.

Kathye Quick said...

You're right. it's the odd experience that does inspire. I love to watchi lightning. I think its as beasutiful as it is deadly. That inspired the wonderful villaness in my new series -Grimm Protectors.

Chiron said...

My goodness but I wish I could listen to music when I work! Often times, my mind wanders when I'm zoned out watching shows. I've been known to grab the pad near my chair and scribble madly.

However to me the greatest inspiration comes from people-watching. How boring!! *laughs* But I like to imagine what the couple in the corner is whispering about and what's on the mind of the kid with the tattoos and multiple piercings.

Great post!

--Chiron O'Keefe
The Write Soul:

nerinedorman said...

For me it's a variety of things. I keep a journal and pen next to my bed and some of my stories have come from my dreams.

Other times it will be something unutterably weird, like seeing a late friend's döppelganger while walking to the station.

Sometimes I'll get obssessed by something, like the history of the island of Madagascar.

Then, vampires. I love 'em. They must have an original story, not just a romance and I'm off. As an editor I weep when I see TWILIGHT clones but am a total sucker (excuse the pun) for a plot with strange twists involving vampires.

Z(Aasiyah/Nolwynn) said...

Bits and pieces of dreams have inspired me, but I find that daydreaming is the best way to allow my imagination free reign. Usually happens when I'm doing something where my mind can zone out, such as hoovering or doing the dishes. Great in a way since it gets the chores done!

The current story I'm writing is based on a dream and a terrible sense of deja vu I had when I woke up. I even had to question myself later on when the deja vu came in whether this actually happened to me or if it's part of a dream that I'm recalling. It was the starting point for my heroine's arc.

Great topic Annie! Very thought provoking.