When Inspiration Hits…

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Here I go again.

Out of the far reaches of my mind, a new novel idea popped into my head. It happens often. I could be watching a movie or reading a book and whatever it is I’m concentrating on a new path would open and my mind  wonders. Sometimes it’s a character, or a scene, or even just a vague concept of what could have been.

I’m not always the best at writing these bursts of inspirations down. I’m getting better, but I still do nothing while it lingers in my head. An idea can sit up there, rolling around for days or months before I feel strongly of its worth to write out. By then details are forgotten. I can sometimes pull them back, but let’s face it; when the idea flees, it’s hard to nail down. Yet some are persistent! They come back, over and over. Haunting me until I can stand it no more and I must write. At those times I jump to my laptop and just find any open document to write down my thoughts, ideas, plot lines and let the story expand on its own.

I’m surprised how quick my excitement level reaches whenever I reach this point. Five years ago I’d think about them, fantasize and daydream about them but fear that my writing skills could not give these images in my head the life they deserve. 80% of them are fan fictions, knowing  I can’t fully embrace the originality of it. I’d enjoy the daydreams and the small adventures I had those characters go on, then they will fade to the far corners of my subconscious and I continue my daily life. They were my pleasant dreams before I go to bed, or before I wake. Now, I’ve begun to search around these dreams of mine, these fantasy stories inspired by the media around me to see if there’s a way to tackle it from my own perspective. To get around the copywriter and find a way to make it my own.

Take this new idea of mine. Well… it’s not exactly new. It’s a spin-off of an anime series I love. It’s been a few years since I’ve kept up with the series. I know the story (if it’s still going) has moved past the point where I’ve left off, but that’s when my imagination comes into play. I created a new character in the universe. The series deals with Soul Reapers, spiritual energies, ghosts, vampires and life after death, so I made my character a witch! Hey magic is magic. It is actually the one trait I’ve yet seen shown in the series. It gave me an opening, a long distant connection to the series Main Character that I could exploit and expand upon. Now, I’ve been dreaming about this side story and character interaction for years, returning to the same point and replaying their opening sequence together. Diving into her history and what made my character reach the point she is at now. Before I knew it I created a novel worthy background story for her. At first I dismissed it, it’s still fan fiction. Yet, this past weekend the story just blew up in my head. The back story has hardly any mention of the anime series or their characters… I could actually alter enough to make the story original. Of course at that point, the laptop came out, launch Scrivener and jot down a rough sketch of the outline. My muses have gripped me hard. I am compelled to continue on with the world building, the magic rules, and how to create a more unique ‘Reaper’ compared to the countless other versions out there.

I experienced a similar drive a couple of months ago when another idea gripped me about a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, through Steampunk/Victorian age genre. The passion was there, the excitement, my mind spent days and weeks wrapped up in its universe and how I could make it stand out. Thank goodness I wrote my thoughts down on that book, my muse has left me there and picked me up in this new witch story.

Perhaps I lack focus. I bounce around too much between ideas and not enough time spent on fleshing out those ideas. It’s difficult when your mind begins working on new story ideas before you’ve even had enough time to write down the old ones. But it’s good, right? Having all those ideas scrambling for attention in my head. I hope they continue to come and give me the inspiration I need when I’m ready to tackle those projects head on.

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