I find inspiration for stories in my childhood memories. I don’t mean that I sit down, remember a specific event from when I was young, and use that to write a book. In fact, so far, none of the situations in my books have actually happened to me– the plots are developed in my imagination. However, I do have vivid memories of how I felt about things as a young person, and what was important to me and my friends.
Not only can these “thought” and “feeling” memories suggest specific things to write about, they help bring characters to life. I try to reconnect with how it felt to be a young person, so that I can remember what the world looked like to me. That helps me to give my characters authentic feelings and reactions, and put words in their mouths that sound like they come from the heart– their hearts– it helps my characters to ring true.
It’s funny, I find that because I spend so much time trying to create characters that are real, I really feel as though I know them! Becky, Greg and Mike from Lights! Curtains! Cows! and Chloe, Mark and Mr. Z from No TV? No Fair! are like old friends (or new friends, depending on how you look at it!).
Writing a book to share with others is lots of fun for the author, not only because others get to read your story, but because you get to live in a world that you create while you write (and you get to visit each time you pick up your book!)
What inspires you? Do you turn to your memories for inspiration? Or do you use your imagination to step completely outside of yourself, like trying on an exciting costume, so that you can understand the world in a whole different way?
Remember to Laugh, Feel, Think and Dream!