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Bob Nailor


Writing is part inspiration. Poetry comes from the heart, from the well-spring of thought-provoking images. Writing a story is just a more verbose method of writing poetry.

A writer needs inspiration. Where does the writer find this?


A teacher can have 20 students gaze out a schoolroom window and watch for 5 minutes. After that, she can assign them to write a short story. The teacher will receive 20 different stories even if the only thing the students saw was a tractor in a field. Each student will perceive the tractor in different ways.

In the above scenario, I presented 10 different story possibilities.

Inspiration for a story can be as simple as drinking a glass of water and seeing how the world appears through the glass. It can be watching people at the mall, store, airport, or where ever a group of people gather. Just sitting in the yard, or at a lake cottage, or beach can be a moment of inspiration listening to the breeze, smelling fall leaves or hearing a loon's haunting call.

For me, I had the inspiration for a novel while driving my car and I heard commercials and somehow blended two of them together to create a scenario. I think that was the impetus for the story. Anyway, for the next 45 minutes, I mentally worked on the ideas, characters and other facts to merge all the parts together. The two words that I caught were "emerald" and "assassination" which got my mind to thinking.

Perhaps it is a picture, a touch, a word, or even, just a smell that catches you. Inspiration will strike at any moment IF you are open to the suggestion.

Inspiration is all around the writer. Take a look, listen, smell and touch.

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Elyse Salpeter
I so agree. One book's idea was by watching a group of birds pecking at food on the ground, another came from an image of a dream I had. Another came from looking at a broach. They can come from everywhere - nice post!
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