Be Prepared To Be Amazed

A couple of months ago, I was asked by my good friend, J. R. Wagner, to write a guest post for his blog. I came up with the idea of writing about inspiration and where I get some of mine from and would like to share this with you:

Writers are often asked where they get their inspiration from and every one of us has our own sources.

I write Fantasy. My love affair with this genre began when I was quite young and has continued through the years. It began with stories written by Hans Christian Andersen and The Brothers Grimm and grew from there. I was the proverbial bookworm as a child and nothing has really changed.

I was inspired by the wonderful worlds created by the books I read and began composing my own short stories and fairy tales before my age reached double figures. That inspiration has stayed with me, but these days I find inspiration in a number of different ways.

People watching can provide a rich source for creativity. Whether you’re on a bus or plane, sitting in a café, shopping or just walking down the street, there are some amazing characters around that you can incorporate into your writing. It might be the way someone walks, the way they dress, their mannerisms or even their turn of phrase. Sometimes a line from a song can trigger inspiration as well as films, novels (of course), conversations and new places.

Going somewhere new will usually prove a source of inspiration, but where you go can have a dramatic effect on you. This can best be demonstrated by a short mid-week break I took back in September to Dublin. Apart from being a fantastic city to visit, with lovely friendly inhabitants, not to mention the rich literary heritage, the folklore of the country is fascinating.

Everyone has heard of leprechauns and they are synonymous with the Irish. They are portrayed as little men dressed in green, carrying a wonky walking stick and hiding their pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. On my trip I decided to find out a little more about them and visited the National Leprechaun Museum. What an ear-opener.

There was a great deal more to the museum than just leprechauns; during the visit, a guide told the tourists other tales about the Sidhe (pronounced Shee), the fairies of the land. A large map – showing the country and some of the ancient place names – was used to tie together tales of adventure, great battles and betrayals. It was a veritable smorgasbord of inspiration. I even bought a book about the Sidhe from the gift shop.

I have so many story ideas from this four day trip it will keep me going for a good couple of years!

Inspiration can come in so many guises and usually when you least expect it, so be prepared to be amazed wherever you go.

For writers: where does your inspiration come from?

For readers: what inspires you in your favourite books?

I’d love to read your comments!

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13 thoughts on “Be Prepared To Be Amazed

  1. I know what you mean. I get inspired by many things big and small, but what I have found is that I need to keep a certain frame of mind. This is mostly a watchful attitude towards my surroundings. I have to be able to notice things. Only in this way will I detect the unusual among the mundane.

  2. As a writer I love to people-watch, create “what-if” situations with my friends, and read a lot!:) Reading classic greek myths or old fairy tales can give the perfect ideas for modern stories and reading history books can also really help inspire situations or characters! I guess these are some ways I get my inspiration:)

    • I have to admit, I did chuckle at your first sentence. I often play the ‘what-if’ game, particularly when I see people acting strangely or they look weird. Lol. I must admit, I hadn’t thought of reading history books to inspire situations – what a great idea. Thank you for sharing that! :o)

  3. Hello, Carlie! You’ve gotten me in the mood. 🙂

    I like to pretend my muse gives me inspiration,
    but often it’s a special occasion or holiday that
    gives me the urge to create music with words.
    Great works of art I find, and if I hear a story
    in my mind that is told by the vision my eyes
    plays before the me inside that watches the
    unfolding of the leaves greatest words, as I stand
    still and watch the screen fill itself with my thoughts.

    Peace to you today! Sincerely, Uncle Tree.

    • Hey, Uncle Tree. Thanks for your comments. My Muse definitely helps me with my inspiration and I don’t have to pretend on that score. However, I do agree with you that music, works of art or strange or beautiful things can inspire one to write. Thank you for sharing! :o)

  4. Hi Carlie, I must admit I find it hard to pin down exactly where the inspriation for my ideas comes from; for me, the most important thing is to be in the right frame of mind, which can often come from watching a movie or one of my fav tv series. I started my first sf book after watching a particularly good episode of Dr Who! Once I’m in that mood, ideas fall all over themselves begging to be put down on screen.
    These days, with experience, I can mostly call up that frame of mind for myself without any help, although I never turn it down when there’s something on that’s worth watching!

    • Hi Debby, I totally agree that frame of mind plays a big part in capturing those inspiring moments when they arrive. I also think it’s important to write them down as quickly as possible, which is why I always carry a notebook with me!
      Thank you so much for sharing!

    • Hey, Brent. As to put in my response to Debby (above), it’s so important to write down any glimpses or moments of inspiration at the time. We all lead such busy lives these days that if we don’t capture the moment inspiration hits, our brains trundle on to the next pressing task and something potentially wonderful can get lost.
      Thanks very much for commenting!

  5. Carlie-

    I find that settings or situations trigger inspiration for me. I will see a place or a picture and begin imagining how my characters got there and what they are they doing. Great post.
    -Dennis

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