1. Published on Amazon? If you have a book, e-book, or audiobook available on Amazon.com, we'll promote it on WritingForums.org for free. Simply add your book to our Member Publications section. Add your book here or read the full announcement.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Dismiss Notice
  1. Albirich

    Albirich Active Member

    Oct 31, 2013
    Likes Received:

    Have any of you found inspiration through history?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Albirich, Feb 9, 2014.

    As the title asks. Anything related to the question is what I meant, but I meant a bit more concrete, like how George used A Song of Ice and Fire = War of Roses. Of course it can be just minor inspiration to specific people or whatever.

    I have one character that is not so much in the story, but is leading an enormous war on the other side of the world. He is a conqueror and believed unstoppable. My historic relation would be Genghis Khan. (Of course since this character won't be a PoV, nor seen by another PoV (as of now) there is not that much development on his front, except that he is taking over the entire eastern continent.)

    I also have a fantasy like version of the black plague, still pretty early thinking because it won't happen till at least the second or third novel.

    And I have been meddling on nordic story, for example like with Loki , Hel and Fenrir. Of course non-godlike and realistic-like.

    What about you?
  2. minstrel

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

    Jul 11, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Near Los Angeles
    One of the first short stories I ever wrote was an alternate-history version of the early American space program, focusing on the first Mercury mission. I changed the names of the astronauts, etc. And I had that first American in space die up there, alas. The story wasn't about him; it was about a young boy obsessed with the program and who hero-worshiped the astronauts. When his hero dies in space, the boy's illusions are utterly shattered.

    I must have been a cruel dude back then. Several of my early stories involved kids losing their innocence in tragic ways. I'm a lot more mellow these days.
  3. Mans

    Mans Contributing Member Contributor

    Sep 29, 2012
    Likes Received:
    History is the collection of many experiences, whether good or bad. So I believe, history is a pure source for finding the real, positive or negative characters and bringing them in a relevant story. But the important thing is that you write fairly.
  4. Bryan Romer

    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

    Jan 26, 2014
    Likes Received:
    All the time. But what I enjoy is finding the bits where history is silent or the records are lost and then extrapolating a what if.
  5. violinguy

    violinguy Member

    Feb 6, 2014
    Likes Received:
    Atlanta, GA
    I am extremely happy that I enjoy reading non-fiction (history, biography mostly) because the old adage "you can't make this stuff up" is absolutely true. As for inspiration, absolutely! Almost all of my story ideas come from the "what if?" section of my brain.
  6. HarleyQ.

    HarleyQ. Just a Little Pit Bull (female)

    Sep 9, 2013
    Likes Received:
    FYI, this post says very little about my character, deep down. Do not judge me.

    The LA riots. Al Capone's career. All early formations of the Italian mafia and the American-Italian mob. The Bloods and Crips' first few years. The Kennedy killings. The (not so) secret past of Las Vegas.

    All of the above spark such thoughts for me, I cannot help but share them with you.
  7. jannert

    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

    Mar 7, 2013
    Likes Received:
    I've always been interested in survivors. Umpteen people were killed by some disaster ...war, plague, famine, an earthquake, a train wreck, a blizzard, a tsunami ...what have you. I like to focus on the people who were touched on, but NOT killed by these events. What did they do that set them up for survival? Were they just lucky, or was there something about their character or the choices they made that spared them?
  8. BobKowalski

    BobKowalski Member

    Nov 17, 2013
    Likes Received:
    The Netherlands
    "Alfred 'Ken' Garward", British WWII fighter pilot who dropped a French flag over the German occupied Arc de triomphe was the main inspiration for something completely different I'm writing right now. The story was supposed to be about a starfighter pilot who went deep into occupied territory to drop a flag onto some very iconic monument.

    Right now I'm writing about a hostage situation on board of a royal passenger cruiser.

    I find history to be littered with epic stories and experiences alike, and whereever I go I will always be and remain inspired by whatever I run into.
  9. mg357

    mg357 Active Member

    Dec 3, 2012
    Likes Received:
    Yes as a matter of fact I have inspiration for my writing through history. More specific American Military History.
  10. peachalulu

    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

    May 20, 2012
    Likes Received:
    occasionally Oz , mainly Canada
    More social customs and folklore. I mixed some Gypsy elements with Druids to create a three tribe order of gypsies for the novel I was working on as a teen ( the one I'd eventually like to finish. )
  11. Amai

    Amai Member

    Jan 18, 2014
    Likes Received:
    Raumati South, New Zealand
    Actually I've used quite alot of things from history

    I've done the colonial invasion that happened to countless indigenous people around the world by the Norse invading the territory of the wolves.

    I have a character based off of odin (which I didn't actually realize until someone told me the other day) A god with one eye who wanders from planet to planet helping my protagonists from time to time.

    The majority of the lava people's culture is based off of New Zealand Maori. Because I look back at my ancestors and there were things we did and things we continue to do that are needlessly violent and hateful. So I made the main empire part of it brutal and violent, something that changes gradually with the help of a certain protagonist.

    There are two parts of my story which touch on the holocaust and genocide in general. One being "The Divide"where a racist dictator divided the world into white people, colored people and Asian people. And expands further when the Asian people salvage a derelict ship and the white people build one to escape, leaving the colored people to be swept over by a wave of lava (Turning them into the lava people).

    And then the second is the first human encounter with the Angelus (A winged and highly evolved race we once referred to as "Angels"). And the dictator realizes that no one would continue to follow his cult religion if people learned that Angels were really just a race like any other. Firstly, he tried going to war with the Angelus (With no intention of letting his people leave the planet) but that ultimately failed. And so after a quick truce he initiated the purge which started by setting off trojan bombs in all their cities, then they sprayed the sky with chemicals (disguising themselves as the Kyūketsuki) and then sent in ground troops to take them to safety in their trucks (since their ability to fly was taken by the chemicals) the back compartments of the trucks were then filled with a salt that burns through Angelus flesh. And from there all that was left was for the foot soldiers to track down the last remaining few. Of course, the foot-soldiers never made it home either, giving Arya the dictator two more points to add to his terrible person chart.

    I'm not sure if this is too recent (as in within the last hundred years) but my main protagonist is based off of the iceman. He's a cold calculating killer, but he is kind gentle and loving to the people he cares about.

    Though this one is more mythological than historical. The end time in my story is based off of the Norse mythological Ragnarök. An end time which instead of being "the end of all time and existence" it is instead the end of
    this time and the start of a new.

    Then there's the gypsy people who ditched the high technological society to wander the nature of their new home world, the Kyūketsuki (After the asian population was infected by a vampiric virus) on their new home world break up into clans and groups which I tried to piece together from my research. (even though it's nowhere near complete)

    I could probably think of more but I've probably ranted enough for now, ahaha sorry... :(

Share This Page