"Welcome to Japan, folks. The local time is . . . tomorrow."
- from 30 Minutes Over Tokyo, The Simpsons, Season 10

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Inspiration, Take 2

I actually get most of my inspiration from movies, but in a way, it's not really inspiration for a completely new story. It's more like somewhere in my brain, I think, hey, I should turn that into a story. But I don't do anything with that idea until I see a movie that's similar to my idea, and I think, that would be a really fun story to work on.

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End -- This made me want to write a pirate story, but rather than returning to the pirate story I had started a couple years before, I started a new one (but that was partly because I was living in South Korea and my notes were in Minnesota). I guess you could say the inspiration for the plot came when I asked one of the other English teachers what came to mind when they thought of Eastern dragons, which I think they said "fate."

Vampire movies -- Whether they're good or really, really bad, watching vampire movies always makes me want to work on Standard Issue. I don't even know how the idea got started, just that my husband was like, why is it that in every vampire movie all the vampires have to have the same "standard issue" clothing (of you know, black and leather and tight).

B-Rate horror movies -- I was creating a character for a role-playing game set in the modern day that was supposed to be vaguely horror-ish (the game, not the character), when I needed something for her and her "sidekick" to do while the guys tried to show off, thinking they knew how to destroy the big bad monster. So my character and her sidekick watched b-rate horror movies, which seemed appropriate considering that the adventure seemed like it was taken straight from a B-horror movie anyway. Add a few writing exercises for one of my creative writing classes at college, giving the character a degree in zoology, and well . . . I'm still waiting to write Mission #1: Tank Riding Zombies, but my husband wants to start a webcomic with her and the character he created in our creative writing class.

Okay, so those last weren't exactly the initial inspiration for the story, but close enough.

I also get inspiration from dreams, music, and drawings.

Dreams -- I haven't really dealt much with the stories I want to write based off some of my dreams, but their basic ideas are in the background for the main world that my stories take place in. I call them the Psychic series, but mostly they're biopunk. Though I wrote one short story in that series while I was in Korea, but that inspiration came from the high security system for the place I worked at and how seemingly easy it was to get around it. (Of course, I wish I had that short story in Japan with me rather than in MN since I would really like to edit it and submit it.)

Music and Drawings -- Pai's story is actually inspired from both. Pai is a character I drew during 11th or 12th grade, though she didn't become a character until sometime after I was in college. Sometime later I was listening to "Nothing Else Matters" by Metallica and I thought it would be fun to write a story based on the lyrics to that song. Well, since most things don't turn out how you think they will, especially when it comes to plotting, I've decided that the song that much better describes her first book is "No Leaf Clover" by Metallica. But if I'm lucky, book 4 will finally give me the "Nothing Else Matters" type of story.

There are many other places I can get inspiration from, and each of my stories probably has their own inspiration story, but that'll be saved for a later time.

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