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Writer's Digest Magazine

She has also been blogging about crime fiction since Margot blogs at Confessions of a Mystery Novelist and you can follow her on Twitter via mkinberg. The authors who have influenced me greatly for my fantasy and sci-fi writing are Patricia A. I loved fairy tales growing up and when I read G. We live in a kind of fairy tale, this life in this world, and we often lose the awe and wonder at creation, and fail to see the magic of miracles in every aspect of life. I wanted to capture that essence in my fairy tales.

McKillip, to me, is the best fantasy writer ever to live, and her books have greatly inspired my writing style and view of fairy tales. For my historical Westerns, Zane Grey is my greatest influence. My novels are set in the s and so much of my influence comes from reading nonfiction history books about that time and place. I especially like reading books and writing by people who lived back then or whose families grew up in those Colorado towns.

They are greatly insightful, especially in the way they view and word their thoughts and feelings. Lakin is a multipublished novelist and writing coach. She works full-time as a copyeditor and critiques about two hundred manuscripts a year. She teaches writing workshops and gives instruction on her award-winning blog, Live Write Thrive. You can follow her on Twitter via LiveWriteThrive. Three of my biggest sources of inspiration are:.

I owe the commuters of London a lot! You hear some interesting conversations — particularly when a group of lads is talking about girls, or vice versa. Dates can be goldmines for material — particularly the uncomfortable moments. I ask friends about their experiences, which can spark something in my mind. This sounds ridiculous, but before I write a chapter I sit in a dark room with the lamp on and a notepad and think everything through — the jokes, potential problems I might encounter, how the characters are feeling. Jimmy Rice is a year-old novelist and journalist living in London and has worked for the Sheffield Star, Liverpoolfc.

Such a tough question. I think inspiration varies as a person grows older. Initially, of course, my inspiration came from the stories I read or had read to me as a child.

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Some things were pretty common—all the Dr. Seuss, for example—and others not so common.

They also had books around the house. I always crossed my folks. So I suppose my first and probably my most powerful inspiration came from my own family, filled with heavy readers. One book had both a positive and negative impact on me. I think I discussed it with someone, who told me that it was a historical novel, true to its time period. But I remember being deeply disturbed by the attitudes in that novel. I referenced the novel and the film in A Dangerous Road , the first novel in my Smokey Dalton series, and not in a good way. And it has to be bad if a year-old can figure it out.

My second most important inspiration came from Kevin J.

11 Writers on Writing Inspiration | Now Novel

Anderson when I met him in a college creative writing class. He proved to me and our professor! Writers do things that I constantly believe to be impossible, and yet, they manage to pull it off. I wonder how I could do that, and so I try.

Writing inspiration: 11 authors on how to get inspired to write

Because the inspirations change decade by decade—and day by day. She writes under several pen names, including Kristine Grayson for romance and Kris Nelscott for mystery. Alexandra Sokoloff Three of the largest sources of inspiration for my thriller and screenplay writing are:. Before I sold my first screenplay, I worked in the Los Angeles County prison system, teaching juveniles, mostly teenage gang kids and very young girls who had been arrested, mostly for prostitution.

Yes, they arrested the girls instead of the men who were trafficking and abusing them.

7 Reasons Inspiration Matters to Writers

German Baroque composers had a word for it: Tafelmusik —literally, music for the table, for dining. Such music has a way of adding emotional ballast to our thoughts. A close analogy would be the musical score of a motion picture.

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Inspiration develops our understanding of human nature. To be inspired by people is to be continually rewarded with story ideas.

People are walking, talking stories. Everyone we encounter has the potential for contributing to our understanding of human nature—if we allow ourselves to be inspired by human nature in all its diversity. Why is that old man clutching his briefcase to his chest? What mini-dramas are unfolding behind the tattered curtains of those tenement windows?

What events have led to that woman in the lounge dabbing her mascara-smeared eyes with a cocktail napkin?


  1. Spike Milligan.
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The spectrum of human behavior, the eccentricities and foibles and enigmas, continually inspires writers. This is why you always should carry a notebook; those little jolts of inspiration also are very fleeting. Airport terminals, cruise ships, shopping malls, beaches, carnivals, restaurants and lounges, weddings and parties are great places for writers who are hungry for story ideas.

What could be more inspirational than opening your notebook to a bit of overheard conversation written years ago and seeing a complete story flash before your eyes? Inspiration improves our capacity for appreciating nature. The great outdoors is inspiration in waiting. Trees, mountains, butterflies, hawks circling high overhead, sunrises and sunsets, wind rustling the leaves at night or howling across vast open spaces—all have the capacity to heighten our awareness and fill us with the desire to write.

But we must first allow ourselves to be inspired by nature. Urbanites that most of us are obliged to be, we drink in too little of the natural world—which is a shame, because nature replenishes us in so many ways. I think of Thoreau, who turned to the wild for self-discovery. I enter a swamp as a sacred place. Yes, because, as with mountains and forests, swamps represent raw, uncultivated nature—as well as a place to which we are biologically rooted.

Inspiration helps us achieve mental discipline. Think of meditation as a kind of internal pilgrimage. Not just for New Age spiritualists, meditation can be both a practical and an emotionally fulfilling means of rediscovering our deepest needs, of replenishing our psychic energy, of regaining perspective on short- and long-term goals. Anticipation is the key—anticipating the peacefulness as well as the heightened mental discipline a meditative state can provide. How many times have we given up on a piece of writing because we lacked the patience to work out the necessary elements?

Meditation enables us to draw from our own inner resources in order to be more productive writers.

Where do you find your writing inspiration? Tell us in the comments below

You read and you're pierced. Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you've been to college. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly. Writing comes from reading, and reading is the finest teacher of how to write. First you do it for love, then you do it for your friends, and then you do it for money.

I'd type a little faster. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen. It is an assemblage of flat, flexible parts still called "leaves" imprinted with dark pigmented squiggles. One glance at it and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for thousands of years.