Bees Underwent Massive Extinctions When Dinosaurs Did. Articles like these are one place where I find inspiration. The title inspires questions – most notably “why?” and “what if…?” It’s just a simple statement, a single fact, but it holds an immense amount of potential. Someone could write an entire book based on that one sentence – fiction OR non-fiction (although that doesn’t mean anyone will). Me, I write fantasy, so I immediately start thinking of supernatural.
Even just putting bees and dinosaurs in the same sentence can inspire something (albeit something B-movie): Beezilla! Half bee, half dinosaur! Tokyo is doomed! Or maybe: Mutant Bees Vs Tyrannosaurus Rex, Battle for Jurassic Earth (Let’s face it, “Jurassic” is a pretty epic-sounding word and would’ve found itself in a movie title some day even if Jurassic Park had never been made.)
Does he look angry to you? He looks angry to me.
Image compliments of Jon Sullivan, pdphoto.org
But even a mystery or thriller writer could do something with that idea. Maybe it’s a conspiracy! They could link that fact to something that’s happening now, something no doubt nefarious. Maybe scientists are conducting experiments. Maybe a secret society is engineering the downfall of our countries so they can take over the world – or at least control it.
I’m not saying any of this would be award-winning material (although it could happen), but it would definitely be fun.
So there you have it, folks. For every writer who has ever been asked where their inspiration came from, the answer is going to look something like this. They saw an image. They read a single sentence (or an entire book) on some random subject. They heard a song. Heck, they tasted a particular flavor or felt a particular texture. And when they did, it evoked an emotion. It evoked an idea. It evoked inspiration.
Fortunately, it’s also often better stuff than bees and dinosaurs. Then again, not every bit of inspiration gets written down, and even less of it gets published. So be afraid. Be very afraid. A writer’s mind is a scary place. As Colin Nissan said,
A writer’s brain is full of little gifts, like a piñata at a birthday party. It’s also full of demons, like a piñata at a birthday party in a mental hospital.
So when someone says inspiration just happens, it’s true. It’s wonderful and inexplicable. That’s why it’s inspirational.