October 19, 2009

Imagination Starters

Fairy tales are my normal muse, but I think all kinds of story starters—like pictures, finish this line, and titles—are great ways to inspire creativity.

Recently I was introduced to The Inferno, a fun blog that offers themed writing challenges. The last one they used was, “Something Wicked This Way Comes.” (I submitted my short story “What You Know.”) They are voting for next theme soon, so hurry over.

And speaking of themed stories, I posted a short story at http://www.humblefictioncafe.blogspot.com/ just in time for Halloween. It’s from The Humble Fiction Café’s anthology, Split. We decided to use Dichotomies as the theme of the book. Everyone took one or both sides and wrote a short story. My short story is "Body" from the dichotomy Mind – Body – Soul.

The photo on the right was taken by my daughter. I took it to one of my writers meetings and several of us accepted the challenge of writing a story based on the picture. (I also used the fairy tale Hansel and Gretel.) “Blueberry Eyes” was the result of that story starter.

What have you used for an imagination starter? I would love to hear about it. If you want, post the link to the story it inspired.

Dorlana :)


GreenFairyLV said...

Twislers help me write. Just kidding.
Just wanted to say I love the picture reminds me of Pan's Labyrinth. I can see how looking at picture can spark your imagination.

Dorlana said...

Hi GreenFairyLV,
Twislers huh - lol. Now if it was based on food/beverage - i would have to say coffee since i do a lot of writing in the morning.

Arlene deWinter said...

Its the photographs of Sir Simon Marsden. I get lots of ideas just loking at them. I am planning a post about him for Gothic faery Tales . As a true reclusive British eccentric he is too hard to reach for an interview
Just google Simon Marsden if you're curious.

Hmmm slityleg?

Dorlana said...

Hey Arlene,
Wow - he has some awesome photos. Good luck on getting that interview.

Karen Michelle Nutt said...

Simon Marsden has some thought provoking photos!

I'm very visual. Pictures, paintings, sketches--you name it, can lead to an inspiration for me. Also a place I visit may spark the beginning of a story for me. The Queen Mary inspired my short "The Spirit of Love," which will be featured in the Second Time Around Anthology with Highland Press. I took a lot of pictures of the Queen Mary and referred back to them for my story.

A visit to St. Michan's Church in Dublin inspired my story "Lost in the Mist of Time." We visited the underground crypt where there are mummies. A 500 page story sprung from that visit.

I have a picuture on my authors den-- that gave me the inspiration for a ghostly poem.http://www.authorsden.com/visit/viewpoetry.asp?AuthorID=39569&id=238545

In my opinion, pictures are worth a 1000 words and more.

For gothic mode of thinking-- I like Victoria Frances prints.

Food for inspiration-- Well, a soy latte for me, please.:)

Great post, Dorlana!

Dorlana said...

Hi Karen,
i love the idea of going places and taking pictures to get inspired.
And what a haunting poem - it makes the picture come to life.
Thanks for sharing your links.

Lady Euphoria Deathwatch said...

Hi Dorlana,

I don't use one source for inspiration. I let thoughts flow freely and bounce of each other and anything from a tree branch to a lint ball can start my mind on a story.

Not that I haven't done this exercise before, but I like what develops by itself more. I don't like to be steered in one direction or another I want all possibilities open to me and never assume any character can't be killed off.

Now that I'm no longer caring for a dieing pet I can get back to writing again.

Hugs, Euphoria

Dorlana said...

Hi Euphoria,
Nice to hear from you. :) I like the idea of getting inspiration from a lint ball - lol. I'll have to look around the house and see what unexpected item I can use as a story starter.
P.S. I'm sorry to hear about your pet.