Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Inspiration and where to find it

In a recent interview I was asked: Where do you find your inspirations to write?

There are two ways to answer that. Like most writers I have more ideas in my head than I’ll ever have time to write. It’s funny, but one of the most common questions writers are asked is ‘Where do you get your ideas? and another is ‘Aren’t you afraid you’ll ever run out of ideas?’. A writer would never even think to ask those questions because there is always a process of creation going on in the writers’ mind. Always...it never stops. My characters begin conversations in my head. Scenes take place. For most people this would be a psychological cry for help and Thorazine might be called-for; but to a writer this is another happy day on the job.

On the other hand, specific bursts of inspiration generally come from observing life as one passes through it. Writers observe all the time, and we think about what we observe –sometimes consciously and deliberately, and sometimes subconsciously. We listen in on conversations –not to be rude, but to hear how people speak, how they relate to one another, and how they edit themselves depending on whom they’re talking with. More than once folks have seen me just standing and being quiet at a party and have mistaken that for shyness or ‘being lost in my thoughts’, but in reality I’m very present and am trying to absorb as much of what’s going on as possible. Life, when closely observed, teaches us nearly everything we need to know about making good stories and real characters.

You can read the full interview here:

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Johnskyn Kantilever said...

Verily, a fine response!

Aimless Writer said...

Welcome to blogland! Great post and I totally agree. I think its when we stop writing we go crazy.

Morbideus said...

"Like most writers I have more ideas in my head than I’ll ever have time to write."

The same way I am about art! Enjoyable read, I expect to "tune in" here often...

Jonathan Maberry said...

Thanks for the comments!