Since telling my family I’m writing a book (I kept it a secret for eight months), I’ve also been telling all the random people I talk to that inquire about my employment status that I’m a writer and working on my first book. One person made a face and a noise like I was being pretentious and another one called it a “good project” in a patronizing tone but most people are really nice and think it’s interesting. The question those lovely people always ask is: Where do you get your ideas?
The simple answer is everywhere.
Really, I need to be ready for an idea to strike at any time because it just happens when it wants to. Everything can become inspiration, even the smallest things can trigger an idea. I am a believer in what J.K. Rowling said about making the muse show up for you when it’s time to write, but I also know that I can’t stem the flow of ideas that just pop into my mind at the most random times. The notes on my phone are full of the little things that come to me that I have to write down so I won’t forget.
As for specific things that inspire me, I usually turn to Pinterest and music. I have an inspiration board on Pinterest full of beautiful, dark, frightening, ethereal pictures that capture the feel I want my story to have or are similar to the way I picture locations and characters in my story. I spend a lot of the time I’m not writing my story looking through Pinterest for more photos that give me ideas and inspire me. (There are a lot of creepy forest pictures, I didn’t realize until today.)
A big inspiration that many people might not relate to is fashion. Specifically, haute couture gowns. I’m taking that phrase from the category on Pinterest, but basically fancy designer gowns inspire me. I love fashion and gorgeous gowns make me think What kind of person would wear that and pull it off? or This would be perfect for a very specific event that I just imagined. It goes from there. I’m a big fan of Elie Saab, Zuhair Murad and Georges Hobeika. They often use a lot of natural aspects in their gowns with florals and branching designs that are so stunning. I remember looking at gowns and dreaming up characters and events before I even started writing my book.
Music! I’m sure music is a big inspiration for a lot of other writers, too. It’s atmospheric and some songs just have the feel that I want certain scenes to have. I’m thinking of doing a post all about music so I won’t tell you what I’m listening to yet, but I love putting certain artists on while I’m writing. Also, random lyrics from unexpected songs have inspired ideas. For example, one line from the Taylor Swift song End Game gave me an idea that fleshed out a vague character that I think will show up in my next book and how they will interact with my main character and a little of their background. All of it just flashed into my mind in the car one day, all because of eight words from a Taylor Swift song. It just happens.
Inspiration is everywhere, as cheesy as that may sound. Sometimes nothing inspires me and an idea just comes to me from nowhere and other times I have to sit and really think things through in a quiet room with no distractions. There’s no telling when it will strike and I’ve learned to be ready. What inspires your writing?