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Angles of Inspiration

Inspiration for writing can come from any quarter and any angle. When you least expect it a mundane event in your day or an interesting exchange you hear at work might spark an idea for a story, or perhaps just a scene in a yet-to-be fleshed out story. Hey, take it however you can get it.

One avenue that has managed to pop ideas into my head out of the blue has been listening to music. Every so often I hear a song somewhere, and the lyric, or the melody, or the beat strikes at the nerve center of my creative writing mind. For example, when I first heard Gavin Degraw's song "Soldier" it conjured up a powerful scene between one of my series characters and his ex-wife. They're together in the aftermath of some violent conflict with the heavies in the story, and he wordlessly reaches out his hand to take her to a safe place. They are no longer together as a couple, but he still harbors very strong feelings to protect her, and he knows he always will.

Other songs have flashed images or ideas for stories into my mind, not all so detailed as the Soldier example. These bits of inspiration can be starting points, or perhaps the missing link in an existing scene or chapter you're writing. Now, I am by no means advocating plagiarism. Don't take a song that tells a story and rewrite it and call it your own. I'm talking about distinct inspiration triggered by an emotional response to another art form.

You can't make this kind of inspiration happen. It strikes without warning, so be prepared to take notes when it does.

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