1. Enyo
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    Enyo Member

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    How does inspiration "hit" you?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Enyo, May 12, 2015.

    I've always wanted to ask this, but have never had a group of writers to talk to until now. I want to preface this by saying I have severe bipolar disorder, and sometimes that does affect my experiences. I tend to react to things more...intensely...than my healthier friends. It's two things, really.

    First, when I feel a strong inspiration for something, it's physical. My face gets flushed and I actually will sweat and shake a little. So much so that I've caused bystanders to become slightly worried about me. Once my mother was worried I was going to faint. The characters and details that come to me in this manner are the strongest and most vivid. The two people who've read my current project both say my "hot flash" characters tend to be their favorites, though I have never disclosed how they came about versus other characters.

    Second, I often get "instant" knowledge about my characters from random things. For instance, Hawaii's massive hula festival just ended last month and I was watching the performance on TV. There were some ladies playing a huge pahu (Hawaiian drum) and I looked at them an instantly knew one of my characters played a traditional drum. It wasn't an idea that should be considered. It was more like, "Oh, Sky is a drummer too. Hmm, that's interesting. Carry on." Traits and details that come to me like that, very much like the hot flash inspirations I spoke of previously, tend to be vivid and everlasting no matter what else goes on in the story.

    Does anyone experience one or both of these things? Please tell me about them if you don't mind. Thank you.
     
  2. Alecion
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    Alecion Member

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    Hello Enyo, I myself am not an emotional person, usually when thinking about my characters I change things up over and over, like its a puzzle and if I changed one piece others change too, even if what was changed isn't relevant.
    But although I don't get excited and has any sudden flashes like yours about charecters, I do have my own kink.
    When reading something new I like very much, I get very excited inwardly, that translates out and I just have to walk around, I play out what I'd continue with with the story I'm reading, then, suddenly I think up new ideas and concepts for that story I'm reading, thinking and thinking about them I deviate further and further away from that story and in my mind a collection of new ideas is formed into a new concept of a story, my story.
    I wish I had something like yours, it sounds very useful for a writer, esspesialy me who is weak on the character front.

    Did you ever try to get into the same mind state and emotional condition of your character? For me, I end up getting to know the character much more and forms it further.
    I mean actually trying to feel and think and see your world, the real world, from their standpoint.

    Hope it was interesting to read my message as yours certainty was.
     
  3. Enyo
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    Enyo Member

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    Thank you for responding. To answer the above, yes, I do this all the time. My current work is very emotionally driven, so it's a must. In some extreme cases, I will actually manifest the moods of certain characters while typing. I had to write out a really difficult part a few weeks ago. Probably one of the most devastating things in the whole work. The character is explaining something to her young granddaughter. Both are in pain because of the situation, but the granddaughter's emotions were very hard for me to deal with because she's young and the material is so heavy. I kept having to force myself to write out the scene just like she has to force herself to listen to what her grandmother said. Each line so was painful for both of us. Then we both got headaches.

    Hah, that sounds like mania. I have that happen both artistically and personally, and a lot of non-mentally ill people I know who are creative have those moments. It's natural.
     
  4. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    I typically always experience the second you described. And it's often during the most inconvenient times. lol For example, my husband and I were watching a movie. I can't remember which. But it wasn't anything special, just some action movie. And suddenly, I get this idea. Just... BAM! So I jumped up, grabbed my notebook, and wrote it down. My husband was very confused, because nothing in the movie should have inspired this idea. I wasn't even thinking about my novel. It was just there!

    To me, it seems that the more I think about my stories, the more confused I get. If I just go through my daily life, read other books, watch TV, watch movies, the best ideas come to me naturally. I personally love it. lol Just this knowing of, "Yep, that's how my story is going to play out!" without even really thinking about it. There's something quite fantastic about it.
     
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  5. A.I. Sajib
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    A.I. Sajib New Member

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    For people like me who think too much, it's easy. You hit an inspiration (a topic) to write about while thinking about something. I'm not necessarily happy that I think too much, but it works well for my writing habits. :p
     
  6. ladybird
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    ladybird Contributing Member

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    Hi Enyo,

    Inspiration 'hits' me any place and at any time. I'm quite a spontaneous person by nature and often I will just pick up my pen and just write. As the words spill on to the page it's almost as if I'm in a trance and everything else does not exist.
     
  7. StevieT
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    StevieT New Member

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    Hey Enyo,

    Great question. I myself am someone who can be hit with inspiration for three days in a row and stay 'dry' for a month after it. What I found is that we can't really decide when inspiration hits us, but we can influence how often it hits us.

    What I mean by that is that we just have to write as much as we can, our brain will develop an unconscious bias to the story and it will give more amounts of energy to processing your story, make it fit, like you said that you suddenly have instant knowledge about your character: your brain figured a nice part of it out for you if you will.

    That's my experience with inspiration. Plus always keep a notebook at hand to write your inspiration down ;-)

    Hope this helps!
    Steve
     
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