As a writer, I’m often asked where I get my inspiration. My answer? Everywhere.
I’m a walking hurricane. True story: I once got into two car accidents in two hours. I once slipped in a mud puddle while wearing platform shoes and a suede skirt and fell on my my arse in front of a guy I liked. I’ve also driven into a neighborhood sign, had a rabbit run into my car tire and die (while I stopped for it to cross) and had to bury it, and I recently locked myself out of the house and had to squeeze through a small basement window and dive onto a nearby futon. If a character in one of my novels is doing something really stupid, chances are I did something similar. I can’t make this crap up. One time I stuck my finger into an immersion blender while it was still plugged in. Then I hot the “on button (Don’t worry, I still have my finger). For reals
My point is all of these would make great scenes in a book. In fact, I could probably write an entire book of my bad driving stories. Sometimes I’ll forget things and then I’ll have a conversation with my grandma or my sister and they’ll be all, “remember that time you were skinny dipping in the pool and there was a snake?” And the next thing I know that has become a scene in my current manuscript (for the skinny dipping snake scene see the rom-com I wrote last nanowrimo with the title, “No One Will Ever Want To Read This Piece Of Crap So I Won’t Bother Giving It A Title,” (Just 19 out of my 50,000 words).
Or I steal other people’s stories. Fir example, the other week my sister was telling me about this friend of hers who she suspected might be plotting a creative way to kill her off (death by camping/ alligators) and I said, “You just gave me the best idea.” Note: My sister’s friend is not trying to kill her, my sister just reads too many detective/ mystery novels set in the Everglades.
There’s also eavesdropping which is great for dialogue. Public transportation is the best for that. The most romantic thing I ever overheard was a guy on his cellphone on my bus to work who said “My bed is an ocean without her in it.” *swoon*
I keep a notebook with me at all times to write ideas/ conversations/ juicy dialogue down. You never know when it’ll come in handy.
My advice to writers: keep a notebook to keep track of your ideas. If you are ever stuck/ suffering from writer’s block, ask yourself or your sister or your best friend to dish out an embarrassing memory (journals are good for this. Spoiler: you’ll see my most embarrassing memory in a few journal entries, so stay tuned). Then take poetic license and embellish the hell out of it. Boom. Writer’s block is banished.
That said, I’m just waiting for the day when something hilarious happens and my sister or husband says, “You better not put that in your novel.” Touche.
Prompt: Where do you get your inspiration? What was the best dialogue you ever overheard? (Keep it relatively clean, people!)