Inspiration is elusive. It’s something that finds you at the unexpected moments; in the shower, on the London underground, slurping the last ramen noodle from the bowl in Wagamamas. When it strikes, words can pour out of your fingertips onto the screen, flooding your storyline with enigmatic twists and turns that not even you were expecting. When inspiration hits, let it wash over your body and take you and for goodness sake do not let it go!
P.S. Try to always have a notepad on you.
P.P.S And a pen.
Although my new story idea hasn’t been completely fleshed out from beginning to end, I have already managed to plot out a good 10 to 12 chapters. I’ve seriously impressed myself with this as planning isn’t something I’m usually great at! Just look at any event I’ve ever tried to plan. Do you see smoke? That’s because I usually set fire to anything I touch in organisation.
Anyways, I just wanted to share with you 3 overarching things that have helped to inspire my next story. Who knows, maybe they can garner a little inspiration for somebody else. Inspiration tag, you’re it!
So I’m going to write a post expanding on music and inspiration a little down the line because I think it would be really cool to take a look at the different music that’s inspired me in detail. Right now, I currently have a playlist I’m building up on Spotify where I put anything I’ve come across that’s affected my mood in a certain way pertaining to the story. Some of the examples are as follows:
- Halsey – Castle (or pretty much anything from the BADLANDS album)
- Lorde – Everybody Wants To Rule The World
- AWOLNATION – Run
- Imagine Dragons – Believer
- Ed Sheeran – I’m A Mess
- Faux Tales – Atlas
If you’re seriously looking for something to inspire a cinematic moment, then I highly recommend checking out some of the above.
There are two main television series that I have gathered most of my inspiration from in one form or another. Both of which probably give the biggest clue as to what genre I’m writing in, although if you’re personally familiar with me, you’d have most likely guessed this anyway.
- Game of Thrones – Sword fighting, mad kings, everyone having ulterior motives, subplot woven within subplot and – of course – dragons. What’s not to like from this gargantuan epic? It’s not only the cruel and unforgiving world of Westeros but the complexities of the characters that you can seriously draw from.
- Once Upon a Time – Modern day fairy tale saga set in the quaint little town of Storybrooke, Maine. I’m not going to lie, the pun on the town name was one of the biggest draws for me to watch this show (yes I can be seduced by puns, but honestly who isn’t? Just me? Oh… okay). If you’re a fan of some of the classics such as Snow White, Red Riding Hood and Rumplestiltskin woven into a modern setting with crossovers galore from the likes of lore and Disney, you’d probably enjoy this show.
One of the great things about getting inspiration from a TV series is that hopefully as the series continues, so does your inspiration!
So many books, so little time to read. I have however compiled a list of books that have inspired me either with their little nuances, or major plot themes.
- Good Me Bad Me – The main inspiration I took from this was in regards to the main character’s psyche and what effect physical and mental abuse can have on a person. The author Ali Land worked as a child and adolescent mental health nurse for over a decade and I feel like she drew from that experience to create this interesting story.
- A Game of Thrones (again) – So it may appear strange to have this in the list twice, but I just feel that the book gives so much more detail and insight into its characters that it definitely deserves a place in the list again as inspiration fodder. Plus I really like dragons.
- The Witcher book series – There is just something so special about the Witcher. Not only is it a fantastic game, but the original short stories that the game was based on are incredibly gripping. It was one of the things that made writing a collection of short stories feel more viable for me.
So there you have it folks. If you’re feeling a little stuck you could always check out any of the above to see if you find the same insight and clarity that I did. Inspiration is hard. Writer’s block is common. Don’t let anything like that discourage you because honestly, you’ll become inspired when you least expect it.