Thursday, September 13, 2012

What Inspires My Writing

When writing fiction, I'm always looking for that one story idea that will allow me to take off -- shoot for the stars, so to speak -- and never return to another hard day of struggling through premise, plot, and storyline, until the story is finished. I hear again and again and have learned from experience that this is not how it is supposed happen, that instead I must focus on taking each idea I have and writing it down immediately, whether or not I think it has the potential to turn into a masterpiece. I also hear again and again that it's not so much what you write about, but how you write about it. Even so, what I write about must be important enough to me that I don't have to worry about being a perfectionist, because that will be the only way it can be written -- perfect in my sight.

I can see how simply going by this philosophy makes it much harder for me than it has to be, but it isn't my only philosophy. When writing gets tough, you must keep pushing or you will not get better. Obviously. Not every draft or idea or concept will be perfect. Not every conundrum you design will be sufficiently logical without that persistent shaping and honing that is typically required.


In all honesty, the only thing you can fully control is not the effect your writing will have on your audience, but the effect your writing has on you -- the attitude you have when you write, the deep psychological and emotional intricacies that come into play, the meaning that each word and letter holds in your heart. 

As you're steadfast in your journey, you will gain a massive collection of ideas, plots, concepts, and lessons that you have developed over time. Soon these will mold together into that one story you will truly and satisfactorily be able to finish. What were once two different plots have now bridged together to become one; what was once a simple concept or problem is now a series of elegant issues leading to a legendary conclusion; some idea you felt would make an interesting setting, that could become highly interactive with the story, is now the basis of all that your story is.

This is the process every writer must go through. In the end, the truths and hard realities of your personal struggle is the same as any other writer's. It will always take time, practice, patience, and hard work. The only difference between us, like I stated before, is the attitude and approach we undertake when we begin.

Update on My Writing (The Fun-To-Read Section)

To be specific about my tastes in writing and reading, I tend to lean more towards realistic science fiction and hard SF. I also enjoy political thrillers, military thrillers, ethical dilemmas, stories of moral conscience, and realistic fiction/true stories about human perseverance. The more of these I find in what I read or write, the more I tend to enjoy it!

For years now, I've been trying my darnedest to get a brilliantly composed science fiction short story on paper. It's been hard, mainly because every attempt has ended much the same, except that each time I feel a little better when I realize that I have, in fact, become that much better at the process.

Here are some of the things that REALLY motivate me about writing!!
  • Music (beautiful and symphonic epic music makes me think sci-fi and really gets me in the mood!) Here's music from a BBC sci-fi series called Outcasts that really gets my blood pumping!

  • Art (space art, magazine covers, paintings, computer generated art, concept art, etc.) I could not even begin to explain what beautiful visuals do for my imagination!

Looking at beautiful artwork like this can spark a million different stories from inside me.
This inspired me to write a story about a young girl living on the lower levels of a capitol city run by an oppressive planet-wide government.

  • Beautiful scenery (for setting ideas)

  • Political upheaval and dramatic true events in our own world

  • Family and Relationships (the most important factor)

  •  Religion
My Mormon faith, like other religions, provides for me many useful philosophical insights to cultivate and increase the human factor of my writing.

Hopefully this helps anyone who runs across it!

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