Where Do You Find Inspiration?

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Where do you find inspiration?  It’s the question every author is asked and every author has a different answer.  Inspiration can be found anywhere and everywhere. There are many writers who have written all their lives.  I am not one of those writers.  I wrote a couple of things here and there, dabbled in some really bad poetry in my teenage years, but that was it.

One day, I saw a promo for a really great looking television show called Roswell, based upon a series of books by author Melinda Metz.  I decided to check it out and I loved it.  This was back when the internet was really starting to become a thing, and there were message boards and user groups everywhere.  I found a message board about the program Roswell and joined it.  I made a wonderful group of friends, and we’re still friends to this day.

We loved Roswell, and we loved to talk about Roswell, the only problem was, despite it’s fantastic premise, Roswell wasn’t actually that great of a television program.  It had an amazing cast with great chemistry, and a story line that touched the souls of everyone who watched.  But network execs wanted to the show to be something else, and when the writers tried to follow their directives, the story suffered.  That was where I was introduced to fan fiction.  For those of you who don’t know what fan fiction is, it is a type of fictional text written by fans of any work of fiction where the author uses established characters, settings, or other intellectual properties from an original creator as a basis for their writing (wikipedia.)  It blew my mind, there were people out there writing stories using the characters I loved to make the series be what they wanted.  I wanted in!

For a long time, that was where I found my inspiration.  I wasn’t a great fan fiction writer, I don’t think I was even very good, but people seemed to like my version of the show.  I branched out and did some writing for a couple of other fandoms, and that was when I realized that I am a writer. Again, not a great writer, but a writer nonetheless.

So I’ve moved on from writing fan fiction, and I have to wonder, where do you find inspiration?  I realized not too long ago, that inspiration is everywhere.  I used to find my inspiration for fan fiction by asking what if?  What if those characters I saw on tv did this, or did that?  What if they were in this situation, how would the act?  I realized that is where I find inspiration, only this time, I get to create my own characters

My newest character is Meg, though I’m not sure her name is going to stay.  She is a teenager, and she is very insecure.  She is very introspective, and even her hobbies are solitary.  She studies martial arts, runs and is a musician. Meg is also magic, only she doesn’t know it.  When I last visited Meg, she was cooking a pot of stew for her family and in her mind’s eye, traveled back in time.  Meg thinks she was just imaging it, but was she?  All this happened to Meg (or at least the plotting did) while I was making a pot of spaghetti sauce for my family.  As I was stirring my sauce, I started imagining Meg in her kitchen, making stew, and I started thinking what if.  I don’t know where other authors find their inspiration, but mine was right there in a giant pot of spaghetti sauce.  The sauce turned out great.  I hope Meg’s story does as well.

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