“Where do you get your ideas, Mr. Slate?” she asked.
Marvin laughed. “From you. From all of you.”
– from “Master of Murder”, written by Christopher Pike (1992)
“Where do you get your ideas?”
“What inspires you?”
“How did you come up with the idea?”
The questions vary but it comes down to the same thing.
It’s fair to say that no one will be able to accurately record just how many times they get asked, but I’m willing to bet that the questions revolving around inspiration and the origin of ideas are, perhaps, the most asked of authors overall and have been for a very long time. And it’s a valuable question to ask. Not only because of the breadth of things in existence that do the inspiring, but because not every author finds inspiration in the same thing. Just another one of those things that makes every author unique onto themselves. That, and it keeps life interesting. You never know what will jump out from the dark (or the light) and hit an author over the head, saying, “Me! Write about me!” or “Write from me! I’m loaded with so much potential!”
Kind of like this morning. I woke from a dream … none of which I can remember. But what I do remember is that suddenly my brain went on one of its sprees, barreling through an idea for a blog post. Which then became a series of blog posts. Which has led to this introduction to said blog post series. It’s funny how that happens.
For a bit of background: last night I was reading up on the news about the current situation in Nigeria and the girls abducted by the Boko Haram. The part that got to me was the leader stating he will sell the girls. Sadly, I’m not surprised by it since that’s just more of the darkness inherent in our species. It does, however, piss me off as does any trafficking situation and slavery, in general. They get me riled up. They speak to me, going into how terrible we can be to each other and how much some people desire power and control over others.
This is some of that good old inspiration poking through.
It’s this darkness and behaviour that’s been driving my work with the Blood & Heritage series. Those lengths people go; the insanity that we find ourselves in. Those primal urges that we haven’t been able to shake over millions of generations. It’s still there, as strong as it’s ever been. As terrible as it is, I find it’s fuel for storytelling, especially since I feel some sort of emotion towards it.
Somehow, this led into one thought and then another about what inspires me overall. Inevitably, someone will ask me that question. I know it. It’s coming like that winter in Game of Thrones (*cough cough* Bad pun. *cough cough*). The more I give thought to what this blog series will look like, the more I’ve derived where my ideas are coming from. They’re not surprising but it’s interesting to see them boiled down to the basics and compiled in a list.
So I give onto you my first official blog post series, “Inspiring the Author Within“. There are 9 posts planned over the next few weeks (10, including this one). I’d love it if you’d join me on the journey!
And if you feel ever so inclined to pipe in about what gets your boat afloat on your storytelling journey, I’d love to hear it.