Today I’d like to talk a bit about inspiration.
Personally, I have many sources that I tap into on a day-to-day basis for writing. With myself being an avid gamer, a lot of my ideas actually come from my experience within games.
Take Guild Wars & Guild Wars 2 for example. Both games are packed full with amazing character designs and gorgeous landscapes. The Sylvari race in GW2 (they are essentially plant people) thrive in the lands swamped with strange plants and beautiful scenery. The elven city Freywyn, in my novel, is heavily based off of the exotic sights that you can see in the Maguuma Jungle throughout the Sylvari’s territory. All of those crazy wild plants and trees stuffed into a tiny magic-borne flying city.
Or perhaps literature, such as the Forgotten Realms books, with epic adventures, outstanding magic and a never ending world of wonder. The most recent series I’ve read from this collection would be the Waterdeep by Ed Greenwood, though unfortunately I can’t recall exactly which Waterdeep books… Anyways, the magic spread across this world is incredible! It’s definitely had me rethink my currently mediocre magic (I think my system is great, but the magic itself is lackluster).
Even just life is full of inspiring stuff. We’ve definitely got our share of strange creatures by our own standards, and of course no shortage of locations to base our fiction in, or around. What’s even better than that, though, is how observable human emotions are if you’re taking the time to search for them. When you’re struggling to create an interaction with your characters, I find that there’s nothing better than going out and searching for similar instances for yourself (be it a public place, a friend’s family, or perhaps films/documentary). Another good example of this is our own personal struggles, and what other people suffer through; be it emotional trauma, mental illness, forms of abuse, loving relationships, academics, experiencing something for the first time… The possibilities are truly endless. How would your character react to this situation? Or how about that one? How would they react when put under other circumstances?
Another huge source of inspiration for me is my dreams. I can’t even begin to explain or describe some of the crazy shit that I dream about, but I say that almost half of the things I experience in my dreams are usable in my current works or are potentially good enough to expand other ideas that I want to work on in the future. One notable instance of this actually improved my current project. I can’t exactly remember what the dream was about, but I got the premise for the entire series out of a single thought I had while sleeping. What if someone was destined to save the world, but they died before they could?
When I had this dream in particular, it was around the time that I was really struggling to find a source of motivation for this one character in my story. He had killed an important character, and while I felt it was necessary, I wasn’t sure WHY until this point. It felt perfect!
Are there any sources of inspiration that you find yourself relying on frequently? Or perhaps a method that you wish was more reliable?