1. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    How do I regain that inspiration?

    Discussion in 'Insights & Inspiration' started by Link the Writer, Sep 5, 2010.

    Last night, I got hit with a wonderful idea to write a story set in Feudal Japan about a retired Samurai and his two sons. Excited, I wrote down the character names and the basic plotline before I went to bed.

    This morning, I wake up and go to the paper...only to not have that same stroke of inspiration, the excitment isn't there. I just go, "Eh, that sounds cool." and leave.

    In a span of twelve hours, I go from being excited by this storyline to not caring too much about it.

    How do I get that inspiration back? Or is that a sign that maybe I didn't really want to write it in the first place? But if that was the case, then why did that idea excite me in the first place? :confused:
     
  2. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Try youtube or meditation they are my main two sources of inspiration.

    Although beware lol could end up watching and listening incessantly to something you didn't really like before:)
     
  3. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    It could be very well it doesn't excite you as much... You don't have to be the same person you were 12 hours before, and if you were thinking over the story while you slept or whatever, maybe you considered a lot more than your original ideas, and it's starting to feel more complex and stuff, so isn't so much like happy fun playtime like it did when it was a new idea. Your stories are a relationship which wavers all the time depending on your mood. I started one story, wrote a vague scene, and dropped it for over a year before I came back and picked up where I left off (after some serious editing :p) and now I have 45,000 words of it... :p But after the initial excitement I just couldn't work up the enthusiasm to keep on going through the plot, so I put aside until the feeling came back.

    Nothing wrong with feeling that way about a story... It's good to give it serious consideration as much as flinging yourself gleefully into it. Put the idea in a drawer and come back to it later when you're in the mood again, and in the mean time don't forget it 100%, so you have more ideas and stuff when you do come back. :)
     
  4. Arvik
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    Arvik Member

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    I agree with Melzaar. Sometimes that Big Shiny Pretty Idea doesn't retain its allure after a few hours. Nothing wrong with that, it helps sift through ideas that, after a "sober second thought," you're not actually crazy about.

    If you still want to try to work this piece, try asking yourself some questions about plot, characters and their relationships, theme, etc. See if your answers get you excited. Start with what intrigued you in the first place, and go from there.

    Researching your time period may also help. Immersing yourself in your characters' world, even if you just google feudal Japan, may rekindle that excitement.
     
  5. JeffS65
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    JeffS65 Contributing Member

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    I don't think of writing as a flash of inspiration but more of a gestation type of process.

    I've been working on a book for a while now and it is going very slow. Every once in a while, I have flash of inspiration that usually does not fit the spot I'm writing but might be useful further in the book. I keep an ideas Word doc of that stuff.

    Still to the point; I don't expect most of my writing to come quickly or easily but that it needs to roll around in my head as I go. It needs time to form itself. It's not so much that the words don't come but that the direction, plot and character development need a little mulling over to get the best effect.

    Thing is, you have a nifty idea. If you thought it was cool at one moment, it probably still is. However, I think you expected too much to have the immediacy of the good idea to just continue to roll along the next day.

    You have 100,000 foot view of what you want to write. That is to say that you have the broadest concept of piece but now you have to let the ideas start to be developed and that takes time.

    If it's a good idea, you're going to start thinking about it and its elements while driving to work etc. If its got value to you, it will come. You have to let it come and you can't force it.
     
  6. Lothgar
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    Lothgar Contributing Member

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    Yes, I was about to mention that one myself.

    It is my understanding that the samurai is a culture, a way of life, a calling if you will.

    It isn't a job with benefits and a retirement pension. Either they live their lives walking the path of the warrior, or they do not.

    I take it that you are unfamiliar with the concept of the PEEP SHOW?

    *Just kidding* :)


    To address the original question of regaining inspiration, that is a tough call.

    Not all inspiration bears out in the long run. I've had wild, exciting ideas for a story that more or less died on the vine as I thought it through and realized that a plausible story simply wouldn't unfold the way I had originally envisioned it.

    In the end, an idea is just an idea. Sometimes its a good one and other times its not.
     
  7. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Sounds to me like you wrote down the wrong notes. You wrote "I'm going to write a story about a retired samurai named Toshiro Watanabe, because he has a cool name." OK, I know you didn't write that literally, but if all you recorded is the name and a basic plot, you didn't record what it was about the idea that made you think it was interesting.

    Maybe your retired samurai realizes that, because he's retired, he has no purpose anymore and he regrets his retirement. That might have been interesting, but you didn't write it down. You wrote down his name instead. Maybe your retired samurai is thinking about all the deaths he's seen and caused in battles in the service of some lord who turned out to be corrupt and worthless, and what a horrible waste it all was, and he wants to ensure that his sons do not follow the same path. That might have been interesting, but you didn't write it down. You wrote down his name instead.

    Record what's important about an idea - what's interesting about it. Don't record the trivial stuff. You'll get your inspiration back.
     
  8. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    LOL! Yeah, good point.

    And thanks, above two posters, for correcting me. Samurais don't retire. They serve until they die.

    And my idea, if I recall it correctly, was him and his sons off on an assignment from the Daimyo. Then there was something about treachery in the family and one of the sons wants to capture the relative in question. Romance was involved with the other son and a commoner woman (From my research, it was possible for Samurais to marry commoners, but there is a whole lot of rituals involved with it so I'll have to look into that.)

    It's set in the year 1619 in Hiroshima. However, I think I'd ought to change city or else readers will be too distracted by the name to focus on the plot.
     
  9. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    Link, that happens to me a lot. I'll come up with a really great idea, jot down a few key points, and say to myself "after I finish running my errands and go exercise, I'll work on it. Then after I get back home, suddenly I'm just not feeling that fire anymore. I think the suggestion to keep the idea and have it in mind for later is a good one. Also, if there was a particular scene I'd had in mind before, I try to at least write that scene. Sometimes, envisioning the scene helps get me fired up to work on the story more, and sometimes I just write the scene and set it aside...even if you're not feeling the story now, though, like others have said, keep it around. You never know when you'll stumble across it and feel that inspiration come back.
     
  10. Bad_Valentine
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    Bad_Valentine Member

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    Maybe there was something very specific and small about this story that the idea of writing it excited you, and you neglected to write it down because it seemed "obvious" or you thought you would remember?
     
  11. Shinn
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    Shinn Banned

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    Whenever I muse over a story when I'm asleep, I'll grab my laptop the next morning and write down all of the little details, so my mind gets jolted and remembers the story.
     
  12. KittyGoesRawr
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    KittyGoesRawr Member

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    Haha. That just makes me SLEEPY!

    & my inspiration is weird. I'd like to think that it's a little plot penguin with a mind of it's own. It comes & goes when it pleases, and I just have to obey. I can write two-three weeks in a row, and take a 5 week break. But there's always something I'm doing in class, lol, or on the side, like a little scene to keep me entertained & fresh. I suck at continuing novels bc I have SO many ideas for so many different things! So I just work on various stuff. Which is okay, bc I really don't want it to end. =)

    MUSIC inspires me. And really good moves. Movies that make me cry, mostly. The Time Traveler's Wife, for example, made me BAWL! So, when I got home I started writing mushy romance, haha. When I'm feeling heavy emotion or an adrenaline rush, I usually write.
     

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