Another blog post coming in later than I like. It’s 7:18 PM on Thursday night and I’m just getting started with my update. The worst part is that I don’t really know what I want to write about. So I’ll write about how to find inspiration.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Inspiration comes from everywhere. You just have to be open to receiving it.
Lately I have been stuck. My short story is at a critical point. I’ve got my heroine backed into a corner and I don’t know how she is going to get out. At my critique group on Tuesday I told them that I wasn’t going to bring anything more to read for critiques until I finished writing the rest of the story. I’m tired of revising it when I have no clue where it is going.
So I have been reading, and watching movies, and thinking. I have been letting the story so far percolate in the back of my mind while I go about my day. I’m hoping that the next time I sit down to write something will come out that will get her out of trouble. Or at least, it will be something that I can work with when I sit down for more edits.
I did have a little bit of inspiration today regarding my story. I was thinking that it may be too light on the character development and that I should take some time to focus on how she should be reacting to her problems. She is trapped in a room at the top of a building. Her partner has just been eaten by a demon, and it was her fault. The demon is right outside the door, trying to break in for dessert. Things look pretty hopeless. I think she needs to take some time and think about what just happened.
Think about it. What would you do if you were in that situation? I think she should start crying. She practically killed her hunting partner. They had been enemies since they were in kindergarten, but they had also worked very closely together. That kind of partnership is like a tightly stretched cable. When it is cut it tends to whip around and can slice through anything that gets in its way. My huntress is going to snap for a few minutes, then she is going to have to pull herself together and focus on getting home alive.
Wow. I feel better now. I’m tempted to start writing this out as soon as I finish this blog. Maybe I will. Or maybe I’ll read some more of Ghost Story, by Jim Butcher.
Anyway, back to the inspiration thing. Something that I have been thinking about while ruminating on my little girl’s problem is how I might get inspired to finish the story. I have some art books in my library that I sometimes turn to for inspiration. They are from artists like Luis Royo, Frank Frazetta, Boris Vallejo, and Julie Bell. I have to admit I am a big fan of Royo. His art is sexual and slightly disturbing, but it all tells a story. And those stories can help me get my own creative juices flowing.
Music also helps. I listen to all sorts of music. Everything from classical to death metal. I’m not a big fan of country, but at least I understand it when I’m forced to listen to it. Right now I’m listening to a Def Leppard station on Pandora. I put it on because I found an old bandana that I bought at a concert when I was in college 24 years ago (has it really been that long?). I didn’t even think it was a Def Leppard concert. Maybe it wasn’t. I always thought it was Boston. All right, now I’m going to switch to a Boston channel. Let’s see what kind of inspiration they can give me.
This morning I was thinking about a large painting I have hanging over my sofa. I got it from my parents. They have had it for years and I talked them into giving it to me. I always liked it, even though my brothers and I managed to get mustard and milk and other foodstuffs spattered all over it during its years over our dining table. But now I am thinking about how I can write a story about the seaside village that is depicted in the painting.
See what I mean. Inspiration can come from anything. Take a look at the people walking down the street. Where are they going? Is that jogger running from something, or toward something? Is the guy waiting for the bus a mild-mannered accountant, or a serial killer looking for another victim? How about the stray dog nosing through the trash? Is it trying to make its way home after getting separated from its family, or is it pulling a severed hand out of the garbage? Why are all my examples so morbid?
I think that’s about enough for tonight. This post is already a lot longer than I expected. I’m going to stop and see if I can get something else done tonight. I’ll see you back here on Monday. Hopefully I’ll be able to say that I finished my story!