Inspired by…

Where do I get my inspiration? I’m not exactly sure. I can’t really pin it down. I know I get a lot from reading, and a lot from real life. I get even more from spontaneity; when I just sit down to write, things pop into mind readily enough. But often I’ll forget what inspired me, or even what was inspired. I could give you many examples of ideas that I’ve forgotten, but I don’t remember them. Most people don’t remember what they’ve forgotten, or why they’ve forgotten it. But that’s a topic for another post, if I don’t forget.

Let’s start at NaNoWriMo. The first half of the story was inspired by Ecclesiastes 9:13: “I also saw under the sun this example of wisdom that greatly impressed me: There was once a small city with only a few people in it. And a powerful king came against it, surrounded it and built huge siege works against it. Now there lived in that city a man poor but wise, and he saved the city by his wisdom. But nobody remembered that poor man. So I said, ‘Wisdom is better than strength.’ But the poor man’s wisdom is despised, and his words are no longer heeded.” Ready-made storyline, that.

The next thing was inspired by the Man in the Iron Mask: two twins, one of whom was supposed to be King but his brother was ruling. I twisted that storyline around a little bit and used it: two twins both ruling under the same name and one goes missing.

Another idea was where a little brother stages his own capture, causing his big brother to go after him. That would be the two twins again.

Another snippet of a story I thought up was a high-speed oxcart chase, which many of you heard about during November. That part is the excerpt posted here. This was inspired by the Bourne Ultimatum, full of high-speed car chases.

The last thing I had tried out in November was a peanut allergy in medieval times. That was a fundamental backstory in the novel.

What fun inspiration is! Where do you get all yours?

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  1. Great post! I get inspiration from a variety of places. Like songs, movies, books, time periods, and my family. My family is actually a creative genius. They’ve come up with great snippets for my stories.
    One relatively new place I find inspiration is movies or books where the ending is awful (No, Inheritance was not one of them. And believe it or not, I’ve actually come to terms with the end of it). If I really enjoy the beginning and middle of a movie/book and then the end is trash, it makes me want to write a story that has a similar situation for the ending, only I actually like the ending. For example, I’ve been thinking of writing a story where all of the characters are like Jane Austen characters. And in the end Jane Fairfax leaves Frank Churchill, ’cause he’s just a jerk. I never understood why she fell in love with him.

  2. Peanut allergy, huh?


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