With NaNoWriMo behind me and another novel’s worth of words to edit and revise, I thought it was time to talk a little more about the other side of the equation.
Everyone has things that inspire them. Whether it’s to write, paint, draw, or simply to be a better person. I think of the things that inspire me, especially when they are people, as my personal muses.
My muses can take many forms. Sometimes it’s another writer who is succeeding and selling and sharing their story with the world. Sometimes it’s the friend who pushed so hard to earn the degree they wanted and finally landed that job that was actually in their field. And sometimes it’s my cat, who is far eviler than I and thus makes a great inspiration for villains.
I find inspiration in the strangest places. On a ride to game night with my husband and one of our friends, I made the off-hand comment that everyone ends up in one of my stories eventually. So my friend made a request. He wanted to be in one of my books. So I created a character just for him. A crazy math professor who works at the witch run university who sets students on fire as punishment for missing homework, being late to class, or getting caught ditching his class. I haven’t finished the story yet, but I can’t wait to share it with my friend so he can see just how much he inspired me that day.
Sometimes it’s far more mundane things too. Fog on the highway on the way to work may spark an idea for a story set on the Scottish moors. The neighbor’s outdoor cat slinking around in our bushes might bring to mind feline shifters slipping through the night to evade someone. Coming home to the smell of ‘husband soup’ (this amazing potato and Italian sausage soup my husband makes me) sparks an idea for a loving interlude in the currently suspenseful story.
I guess the long and short of it comes down to my finding inspiration almost everywhere. Be it friends and family, feline antics, the weather, a picturesque sunset, or the snippet of conversation I hear at the grocery store, I tend to take my life and recycle it into my fiction. I guess that’s what they mean by “write what you know.”