Inspiration: Storytelling And Real life
In this first post, I want to talk about some of the best lessons I learned from the process of writing my first book. The first bit of advice a person usually receives about writing is “write what you know.” I could never figure out what this means. If most people wrote about the things they only knew, fiction would be very boring. Hopefully the following discussion will help in figuring out the things that you do secretly know.
A good tip in writing is to figure out what interests you. In my case these areas include science, science fiction, superheroes, comic books and urban legends. Once I realized that I knew quite a lot about the history and background of these things, I could make them come together and come up with something fun. I took all the things I like about rookie superheroes and made them happen to The Guardian. I also found things to make him different. For example, he isn’t a tragic figure; he’s having fun. The thing about figuring out your interests is that it will make your storytelling more fun for you and for your audience.
Another tip is to ask yourself questions about your interests. Since some of my interests are superheroes and UFOs, I asked myself some questions about them. I wondered what would happen if an alien encounter gave a comic book fan superpowers. Thus Kevin and The Guardian were born. I wondered what would happen when a scientist on a quest for pure knowledge discovered alien technology. This created my villain.
One last tip; pay attention to the world around you. This is where you’ll find inspirational ideas for your story. My interest in urban legends began in elementary school. Interestingly, one urban legend I encountered came from one of my teachers and was about how Halloween started.
As a kid, I always loved Halloween. By third grade I knew that the modern concept of Halloween came from a combination of ancient festivals regarding the harvest, the afterlife and a belief in magical creatures. I had just read a magazine article about this when somebody asked the teacher where Halloween came from. To my surprise the teacher made this strange statement:
“Witches are born on Halloween, and it is the Devil’s birthday.”
This touched off a lifelong interest which would become a major influence on my book. My first interest in urban legends came from my confusion that an adult teacher would believe in witches and that she would think that the Devil would have a birthday. I still don’t know where this story originally comes from. If you do, please comment below.
Hopefully these storytelling and writing tips have been helpful. Thanks for reading. Have a great day!