Monday, June 10, 2013

Inspiration is Everywhere, You Just Have to Look.

(This was originally posted by me on Downtown YA.)

People, especially my students, often ask me how I come up with all the ideas for my stories, and my answer to them is you can find ideas and inspiration everywhere.

And then they ask me what I mean by that.

So where do my ideas, or at least the inspirations, come from? Well, they come from:
  • My nightmares,
  • Pictures,
  • The news,
  • People,
  • Odd or strange places,
  • Things that scare me,
  • Myths and fairy tales.
These are just a few of the places my ideas come from.

Look at the following picture and what do you see?

Cemetery in Cameron, Texas (picture by Annie Rachel Cole)
Obviously, I see an old grave with a metal fence around it. But is there anything else there? What does your imagination tell you?

I see a grave with a fence around it, and I the fence meant to keep people out, or is it meant to keep something in? Who or what is buried there? How did they get there? Maybe there's a ghost who roams the cemetery--the ghost of a woman who was buried alive.

I remember driving by this very cemetery as a teenager, the only difference was it was very much over grown with bushes and weeds, but during winter you could get a glimpse of tombstones. This cemetery was the inspiration for my short story 'No Rest for the Spirit'--a short story about a woman who was buried alive and now haunts the area.

Ideas or inspiration for stories are everywhere.
Look around. 
And then ask yourself, WHAT IF?