I wasn't sure how to best describe this one...
When I was brainstorming things to post to the blog, "inspiration" came up twice. Once was finding inspiration around you, like the suncatcher mentioned in the last post. You can find inspiration everywhere once you start thinking about it as a writer. I was writing a poem in my head about a family holiday yesterday. There are people I have used as characters, places that inspired descriptions (Rosalin Chapel = King's Temple in Weapons of Espar!), or environment that inspires themes. Lance's wet visit to WaterBranch in Rydan was inspired by a trip to Tofino where it rained allllll weekend. So I captured that dampness and chill and made Lance's problem so much worse.
But then there's inspiration from within. That's what this is about.
Here's my theory:
No one is a ONE person. Every day, we modify ourselves and our behaviours based on our circumstances. We behave like one 'character' when in the company of our crush, or when we're on the job. We might be confident when doing a presentation, yet demure when talking with friends. Our interactions with people change us dramatically. The classic one for me is that I'm highly outgoing at work. I have to be. I'm a service industry when you think about it, and I'm the boss. So I'm decisive and confident. But when I get home, I'd rather not make decisions and be in charge. I'm a leader when I have to be, but happy to follow if I don't have to.
This variety within ourselves is another source of endless inspiration. A starship captain might take on the characteristics I have at work, while the shy stowaway embodies my reclusive home self. Sometimes we feel flirty (hello Shimmer!) but other times childish (Gensiana!) Taking those characteristics and amplifying them makes a new character, one you know all too well.
Of course, you want your characters to be more than one trait/emotion/stereotype, but this is inspiration for you to leap off from!
I believe this is why so many authors (especially those getting started) have trouble sharing their works. Whether we consciously acknowledge it or not, we put ourselves into our writing. And when writing aggressive, cruel, or downright mean characters, it's scary to wonder what those characters reveal about me. I know they aren't me, but if I can write them, do I not have the ability to become them?
D. Lambert, author
Fantasy novels that entice, inspire, and entertain.