Thursday, July 03, 2008


"Inspiration is the beauty we see in the everyday world that makes us have an intimate relationship with the awesome power of...ourselves."~joni

Now where, as writers, are we going to find the inspiration to carry us through a short story, article or novel? We need to look deep within our artistic self, get a glimpse of a character and build a house.

Take a log cabin for instance. In days of old, it was built one log at a time. They had windows and doors that allowed for a view and expansion of the outer world. Now, think of your story as a log cabin, building it one word at a time. Climb through the doors and windows of your imagination allowing the words to flow like silk in the wind.

First you’ll need a character. I like to find mine in everyday people that I see as interesting. Whether it’s a man walking a dog, or a woman jogging, or even a waitress serving food.

There are many circumstances that can lead to inspiration of a character in your story. You don’t need to pick any special person. Just pick out five people in a day that you have encountered. A policeman? A teacher? A businessman? Now give him/ her details of your own. Let’s mold him into who WE want him to be.

After you mold this character, give him/her a job to do. Is she a mother struggling on welfare with three kids? A father working seventy hours a week trying to pay for his six children?

Now lets build a plot, add some conflict, make the tension rise like a mountaintop peeking out of the clouds. Then slowly bring your character down the mountain and resolve any unfinished business. You now have a story to work with.

Like many people, ideas don’t just come from the rain falling on the ground and making a puddle. We need inspiration to move us along. If you’ve stumbled upon what to write, finding writing exercises usually helps alleviate the tension of not having a word on the page. (The link to your left, Pumping Your Muse, has EXCELLENT writing prompt ideas to get you motivated.)

Sometimes going through the dictionary and picking out ten words (related or unrelated to one another) can spawn a mecca of ideas. Don’t let the blank white space in front of you make you run for shelter, instead pick 10 words at random and build your log house to make it a wondrous story that you can tell all your friends about.

Once you’ve gotten your house built, furnish it with people and furnishings of whatever era your tale is set in. Now sit at the desk, (that you’ve placed right next to the window) and dream your way into the clouds, flying high above the earth. Do you see the world through different colors? I bet you do. I bet your imagination has taken on its own entity and is now inspired to roll right along, like a wagon wheel of motion.


Debbie/Granny said...

Thanks for the inspiration joni. You make sound so simple.


Donna Sundblad said...

Hi Joni,

Thanks for mentioning my blog. I've been on vacation this week, but prompts will start to appear regularly again on Monday.

You've got an excellent blog here. I've added it to my favorites over at Pumping Your Muse Prompts.

Donna Sundblad

joni said...

Thanks Donna for visitng on Fourth of July. I thought everyone would be partying (cookouts and eating) that the blog would go unnoticed today. But I have to remember the people in other country's. :-)

So no break for joni!

Thanks also for adding me to your blog. What a friend I have in Birdie! :-D

Be well,

Ravenne said...

Happy 4th of July, Joni!

I'm watching Independence Day with my daughter tonite.

My way of sharing the patriotic spirit.


joni said...

Well is that what everyone watches on 4th of July?

That is what June is watching too!

See, great minds DO think alike!

Thanks for stopping by!


Anonymous said...

I love this post. I'm so proud to have you as a Mentor and Friend. =) Your wonderful and inspiring words are full of energy and power. I'm sure any writer dealing with writer's block or not knowing what to do with the blank page can find the right words and inspiration in your words.
Thanks also for reminding me about Pumping Your Muse.
You know what? I almost feel like picking a character for a fiction story! Who knows, maybe I give you a surprise one of these days. =D

Tea and scones?