Tag Archives: inspiration

What Will It Take?

(cross-posted at StoryADay.org)

One of my absolute favourite blogs in the world is WhoDunnKnit by Deadly Knitshade. It is funny, absurdly creative and did I mention funny?

Knitters are fun!

I’m always inspired by the posts because in them I see someone doing what she loves, doing a really professional job, and committing to her art in a way that anyone with a passion would admire.

I’ve been subscribed for a while now, but today I finally read the ‘about’ page on the blog.

Read The Rest At StoryADay.org – and please comment, if you have an answer to the question I end this piece with.

Creative Writing Mentors

There are books that I enjoy and there are books that I love.

The ones that I love tend to be the onest that make me impatient to put down the book and pick up a pen. (Then I’m torn because I don’twant to stop reading…)

When I want to do some creative writing I tend to dip into a piece by one of my favourite authors (sometimes that can be a TV show or a movie) to get that fix, before I start.

My “Get Jazzed About Writing” superstars are 1:

Douglas Adams – his mind is so brilliant an dhis bvoice so unique that it could seem intimidating. But reading his writing (fiction or non-fiction) makes me so happy that I want to do the same for other readers.

Joss Whedon – (TV/movie writer) because of his storytelling skills and unique voice. He creates worlds that feel real, characters that you can love, puts funny and unexpected lines in their mouths, and then creates storylines that stay absolutely true to themselves, even if it means sacrificing a beloved character or a happy ending. Everytime I find myself sobbing “Damn you, Wedon, I HATE you!” I know that I want to be able to tell stories as well as he does.

Neil Gaiman – For language and heroes and uniqueness, and a bright shining optimism about human nature, lurking amidst the demons and horror, the creepiness and the gore.

Terry Pratchett – for biting satire and observation of humanity and for a way with language for which I would gladly gnaw off my own legs below the knee (but no higher).

Elizabeth Peters – for sheer fun, heroic characters, historical situations and suspense.

Agatha Christie – for writing skill, language and absolute integrity between characters: everyone speaks, moves and acts as an individual.

John O’Hara – his short stories about life in a fictional Pennsylvania town really appeal to me; and seem like a great blueprint for turning your own life experiences into fiction (one story simply follows a boy as he walks to his fatehr’s office to show him his new riding clothes, but it is absolutely gripping, and we learn a ton about the boy, his father, the town, the era; all in one very short, very tight scene.)

Ray Bradbury – the master of the “what if?” What if you grew up in a town where rocketrs to the moon were as common as airliners are to us? What if the Loch Ness Monster was real? What if your husband piloted spaceships for a living, and it was a dangerous job? What if books were banned?

What are your ‘get jazzed about writing’ inspirations?

  1. The links on this page are links to my affiliate account at Amazon

What Are Your Creative Writing Inspiration Sources

I’m going to write A Story A Day in May. Dare to join me?

There are books that I enjoy and there are books that I love.

The ones that I love tend to be the ones that make me impatient to put down the book and pick up a pen. (Then I’m torn because I don’t want to stop reading…)

When I want to do some creative writing I tend to dip into a piece by one of my favourite authors (sometimes that can be a TV show or a movie) to get that fix, before I start.

My “Get Jazzed About Writing” superstars are 1:

Douglas Adams – his mind is so brilliant and his voice so unique that it could seem intimidating. But reading his writing (fiction or non-fiction) makes me so happy that I want to do the same for other readers.

Joss Whedon – (TV/movie writer) because of his storytelling skills and unique voice. He creates worlds that feel real, characters that you can love, puts funny and unexpected lines in their mouths, and then creates story-lines that stay absolutely true to themselves, even if it means sacrificing a beloved character or a happy ending. Every time I find myself sobbing “Damn you, Whedon, I HATE you!” I know that I want to be able to tell stories as well as he does.

Neil Gaiman – For language and heroes and uniqueness, and a bright shining optimism about human nature, lurking amidst the demons and horror, the creepiness and the gore.

Terry Pratchett – for biting satire and observation of humanity and for a way with language for which I would gladly gnaw off my own legs below the knee (but no higher).

Elizabeth Peters – for sheer fun, heroic characters, historical situations and suspense.

Agatha Christie – for writing skill, language and absolute integrity between characters: everyone speaks, moves and acts as an individual.

John O’Hara – his short stories about life in a fictional Pennsylvania town really appeal to me; and seem like a great blueprint for turning your own life experiences into fiction (one story simply follows a boy as he walks to his father’s office to show him his new riding clothes, but it is absolutely gripping, and we learn a ton about the boy, his father, the town, the era; all in one very short, very tight scene.)

Ray Bradbury – the master of the “what if?” What if you grew up in a town where rockets to the moon were as common as airliners are to us? What if the Loch Ness Monster was real? What if your husband piloted spaceships for a living, and it was a dangerous job? What if books were banned?

What are your ‘get jazzed about writing’ inspirations?

  1. The links on this page are links to my affiliate account at Amazon

Working Writers – Scalzi and The Big Idea

I really like reading interviews with writers about how they sat down and wrote their latest book/story etc.

I don’t so much like interviews where the interviewer gets all “I want to win a creative-non-fiction writing award so let me describe the sound of the gravel crunching under my feet as I walk up the path to the writer’s secluded retreat on the campus of some university where they scratch out a meager living writing the kind of prose that makes the average person smack themselves on the forehead and say ‘I’m not buying that!'”

So I tend to like inteviews BY writers with working writers who are churning out book after book, story after story, publishing them, moving on, interacting with their fans and other people in their space.

I also like what is known as ‘genre’ fiction: mysteries, sci-fi, historical fiction, more mysteries.

So I suppose it should come as no shock that I was pleased to find The Big Idea column on John Scalzi’s site where he interviews other writers about how they wrote their latest book. (Scalzi is a Hugo Award winning writer, amongst other things, and a popular blogger).

I suspect this is his way of sidestepping the first question writers always get asked (“Where do you get your ideas?”). He asks other writers to answer the question, and they do. Because it’s being asked by another writer and not a lazy journalist, what you get are thoughtful answers in story form (not a brush-off like “I get them from the idea subscription service in Ohio”, a line that most successful writers have a version of, up their sleeves).

And these people are real people who have had all kinds of jobs and have had to fit their writing in around them.

Just what I need to hear.

Sir Salman

I never thought much of Salman Rushdie as a celebrity and I don’t know much about his writing, given that I’m only part-way into his latest book and haven’t read any of his stuff before….

[pauses for breath]

BUT

I’ve been listening to a talk he gave at the Free Library of Philadelphia recently and it’s like a masterclass in fiction writing.

He’s is surprisingly unpretentious, self-deprecating, and generous with praise and advice. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in writing fiction.

Salman Rushdie at the Free Library (right click to save it to your hard-drive, unless you’re on one of those new-fangled “MacIntosh” things in which case you’ll have to work your own voodoo…)

It’s not a ‘how-to’, but it is one of those experiences that makes you want to jump up and run to your notebook and write your own novel.

I love that.

Thanks, Sir Salman!