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Old 02-05-2013, 05:33 PM   #1
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Where do you get your inspiration?

When sitting down to write a story or book where do you find your inspiration?

Personally, I find it in many places. Nature is by far my biggest source of inspiration. I live in a Yup'ik Eskimo village on the tundra of Alaska. The landscape and culture always play a big role in my writing. My children and pets do as well. But also things I enjoy- arctic fox, northern lights, blizzards, snowshoes, dogsledding, etc.
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:16 PM   #2
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I get it from imagining explaining something. For example I have an idea for a mystery that I got from reading about what the author of an ebook I just bought called the trinity of a mystery. Basically it's the idea that mysteries need 1. a victim 2. a killer and 3. a sleuth. So I started imagining a victim and who would want to kill him and why as well as other possible suspects who might have a reason to kill the victim. Then I had to think of who would be the sleuth. How would this person come to be involved in solving the murder? It's still in its most early stages but I even have a possible title "Murder at Lonsdale House."
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:52 PM   #3
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For me, the vast majority come from the process of writing - very little happens until I start making the words appear. The ones that come with writing don't always have to do with what I'm writing - and that can be very distracting.

Sometimes an idea will appear as the result of something I'm reading or watching; some tangent from the story or text. More often than not, these don't get very far.

Rare gems appear mysteriously out of nowhere; a scene or thought, with no apparent explanation or source, that won't let go. So I make up a story to explain it. (Terry Pratchett's inspiration particles remain the best explanation that I have for these ones.)

Whatever the source, I am a firm believer that inspiration only works for those that are seeking it. I imagine that everyone has them, but if you are not searching for them, waiting for them, needing them, then they quickly fade away like last night's dreams.
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Old 02-05-2013, 09:04 PM   #4
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"Where DON'T I get it from?" would be a more apt question. I usually start with some nugget of an idea or a plot element/character from some existing work, and then I start fleshing out that little idea until it slowly becomes to form the basic outline of a plot.

Sometimes I'll write about some brief, secondary plot in an existing work, just something that I really wanted to see fleshed out until it's own thing.
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Old 02-05-2013, 10:13 PM   #5
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As I said in the last inspiration thread, mine comes from a variety of sources. Playing WOW, hanging out on Second Life, reading, looking at artwork on deviantArt, reading old or not-so-old RPG sourcebooks, and just about everything gives me ideas. Hell, I got one idea from a pair of ugly Foo Dogs at a resale shop.
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:12 PM   #6
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I've got way more inspiration than time to act on it!

Memories of the time I spent on the North Slope continue to inspire some of my plans for (future) science fiction, other jobs have provided other inspiration. And, of course, there's that inspiration that strikes in the moment that I'm falling asleep -- and I just know I'll never recapture it.
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:53 PM   #7
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I've got way more inspiration than time to act on it!

Memories of the time I spent on the North Slope continue to inspire some of my plans for (future) science fiction, other jobs have provided other inspiration. And, of course, there's that inspiration that strikes in the moment that I'm falling asleep -- and I just know I'll never recapture it.
The North Slope of where cromag?
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Old 02-06-2013, 12:44 AM   #8
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Sorry. The North Slope of Alaska -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaska_North_Slope

I worked on oil wells there in the winter and spring of '75. It was very dark and cold when I got there, and less dark and less cold when I left.

Unfortunately, these were the days before ereaders -- most of my reading was confined to technical manuals and cereal boxes.
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Old 02-06-2013, 02:51 AM   #9
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Sorry. The North Slope of Alaska -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaska_North_Slope

I worked on oil wells there in the winter and spring of '75. It was very dark and cold when I got there, and less dark and less cold when I left.

Unfortunately, these were the days before ereaders -- most of my reading was confined to technical manuals and cereal boxes.
Ah ok. Back in '75 I was breaking in my 1st pair of glasses my parents having found that I suffered from Astigmatism in both eyes. Most of my reading back then consisted of things like Dick and Jane. Days and nights are six months long up there aren't they? Must be some beautiful country up there.
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Old 02-06-2013, 05:29 AM   #10
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... Days and nights are six months long up there aren't they? Must be some beautiful country up there.
As I recall, I got my first glimpse of the sun skirting the Brooks range to the south on Feb. 12th. By the time I left in April the sun was up for about 23 hours, but it was still light enough to read for the 24th hour. Plenty of inspiration for hostile environments.



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Ah ok. Back in '75 I was breaking in my 1st pair of glasses my parents having found that I suffered from Astigmatism in both eyes. Most of my reading back then consisted of things like Dick and Jane.
Oof!
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Old 02-06-2013, 06:52 AM   #11
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For me, the vast majority come from the process of writing - very little happens until I start making the words appear.
I'm finding this out about myself, too.

I can sit and burn brain cells casting about for ideas, and sometimes they come and sometimes they don't, but if I actually get myself typing ideas just pop out as the sentences take shape. Now I just need to be more disciplined about getting down to typing!

Or not necessarily down to it. I've experimented yesterday and this morning with writing standing up, by tilting my monitor and resting the keyboard on a small table popped on top of my desk. It worked remarkably well.

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Old 02-06-2013, 10:14 AM   #12
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[...]Or not necessarily down to it. I've experimented yesterday and this morning with writing standing up, by tilting my monitor and resting the keyboard on a small table popped on top of my desk. It worked remarkably well.
Standing desks seem to be gaining popularity - though I don't think I'd like it much. See these at Human Solutions - and they have links there to blog articles about the supposed benefits of spending more time standing.
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:23 AM   #13
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I've experimented yesterday and this morning with writing standing up, by tilting my monitor and resting the keyboard on a small table popped on top of my desk.
I hope the question is not too intrusive but why have you experimented with this?

Edit: Never mind, gmw already answered, my fault for not refreshing before I ask...
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:45 AM   #14
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I hope the question is not too intrusive but why have you experimented with this?

Edit: Never mind, gmw already answered, my fault for not refreshing before I ask...
Yes, as gmw says, there's been a focus in the press recently on the health benefits of not spending too long sitting down. What I found interesting in both the sessions (both somewhere between half an hour and 45 minutes) was that while I was writing I didn't really notice that I was standing, I got into the 'zone' very quickly.

I couldn't continue with it for other work as I hadn't set up a similar solution for the mouse, but for first draft creative text it was great.

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Old 02-06-2013, 11:51 AM   #15
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Of course, one is reminded of Woody Allen in 'Bananas' and the Execu-ciser:

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