Welcome back to my new feature Writing Insights! In case you missed you missed the first part of this new series chronicling my writing adventures, just click here to check it out. I bet you didn’t think I would be back with this quite so soon, but since I am still not very much in the mood for tags, yet feel very inspired to write, I thought I’d just go with the flow here.
Thanks to your questions from last time, we also have great topics today!
Routines & Inspiration
First question is from Rami @Rami Ungar the writer: “Do you have a particular writing routine?”
Short Answer: No
Long Answer: Kind of.
Just kidding, that wasn’t the whole answer. I don’t have a set time or schedule of when I write. I also don’t really have a particular routine I go through before I feel comfortable to write. There’s no ceremonial tea brewing or pencil sharpening before I can let my thoughts pour out, I mostly just write down everything and anything that comes to mind when inspiration hits.
Generally I don’t like to snack while reading or writing though. And neither drinking very much to be honest. I just find it very inconvenient and am always afraid I am going to spill something or get sticky/greasy fingers. So, that’s sort of a no-go. What I can’t do without is music though. It either has to be something that fits the scene or something that can play in the background without distracting me too much. If I ever do need to concentrate more than usual, I will just turn it down. Complete silence doesn’t work for me personally.
Also, I do prefer writing on my laptop, but I really will take any kind of scrap of paper I can find if necessary. The only thing I insist adamantly upon is the pen I write with. Do you know that weird feeling when a pen just doesn’t sit right in your hand or you see the colour fading? I don’t know why, but that annoys me to no end. So, whenever I don’t type away on my laptop, I need a pen I like … and defining that is something I am not capable of.
Do you have a writing routine? Please don’t hesitate to share!
Second Question is from CW @Read, Think, Ponder: “Where do you draw your inspiration from, particularly the fantasy/magical elements?”
General inspiration can come from any of the following sources:
- Movies/TV shows and the actors/actresses involved
- Random people on the street/coffee shop/whereever-you-tend-to-see-random-people-being-random
- A photograph or painting
- Conversations you have with your bff/family/colleagues
I know that was super vague, but I believe in all honesty that everything can be an inspiration, which is also why I always have a pen and notebook at hand. I have several filled with random observations during the day or thoughts/dreams I had. However, the question was more specific than that and therefore is also more complicated to answer.
I will admit that I
sometimes often struggle with originality. A lot of my ideas come from stories I heard and liked. That can be anything from a current TV show to a century-old myth. But there is something weirdly universal about fairy tales and myth that you can, if not always at least a lot of the time, twist to the needs of your story. Technically there are no bounds when it comes to magical worlds, you can literally make up whatever you like. However, everything in our rational mind demands rules, even magic. Figuring out those rules is one of the hardest jobs ever, because there has to be a consistency in the logic of your magic, even when it defies logic. Am I making sense yet?
I always admire people who can come up with a new concept or at least a fresh spin on a topic, because that really is the tricky part and something I always aspire to do in my own writing. One of my first long stories I’ve ever written was about a group of teens who each had control over one element and I thought I had come up with something great right there. Not even weeks later I discovered The Last Airbender on TV and felt like an utter fraud. Because even though I didn’t draw inspiration from the show at the time, it was all the rage and surely people would think I had “stolen” the idea from them. I didn’t even think about the fact that writers had been using that kind of magic for ages already and that some elements were bound to repeat themselves in stories.
So, what this boils down to is that I sometimes draw from existing stories, but always try to make it my own somehow. And in some rare cases, it creates something new entirely and that is just the best feeling.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
As promised I now have the Prologue for Kasia’s and Dyson’s story for you. The title is coming … soon-ish … I just really haven’t found the right one yet. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. I am also very open to topic suggestions, because I would really love for this to continue to be an interactive feature! Sharing my writing is always extremely nerve-racking, so I hope you enjoy!
Kasia was breathless from hiking up the trail, nervously glancing at her watch every other second. There wasn’t much time left and she knew it. Yet she was also miserably aware that if she went any faster now, she would simply pass out and that would do no one any good. As she got closer to the top, the air felt electrically charged, making her skin tingle – a good indication that she had chosen the right place.
The forest around her was thinning, giving way to a gorgeous mountain view she had absolutely no eye for. The stars above illuminated her path as she concentrated on a blurry spot in the middle of a collection of large rocks. It looked like they were placed in specific positions, a stone circle, which even a layman would catch. With relief she threw off her backpack, freeing herself from the heavy weight that had seemed to drag her down for even longer than the duration of the hike. It took all of her remaining energy, but she started sprinting towards the peculiar place. The closer she got, the more obvious it was that something or someone was manifesting in the stone circle.
A grin spread on her face.
“Kasia.” He breathed her name as if it were life itself. There was nothing she wanted to do more than throw herself at him, shower him with kisses and drown him in hugs, but she stopped abruptly before the invisible border of the circle. She knew the rules, he couldn’t get out, just like she couldn’t get in. So instead, Kasia took in everything that had changed about Dyson, everything that had stayed exactly the same. She had always been a tall girl, but he still towered over her, his skin as sun kissed as ever. His hair had turned shaggy, his beard scruffy, but it was so like him to look unruly. She’d have recognised him that way any day. There was only one noticeable difference she couldn’t ignore.
“Older?” He said with a sad smile.
“Yes … how is that possible?” Dyson was only two days older than her, but now it could have just as easily been 10 years.
“Time moves differently where I am.”
Kasia nodded as if she knew exactly what that meant. She didn’t want to lead on that everything was growing way over her head already.
“Where exactly are you?” But there was only silence in response. “Dyson? I need to know.”
“What do you mean? ‘No’?”
“You have to stop this impossible search. You have to let go.” He extended a hand as if to comfort her, forgetting all about his invisible restraints. The moment his hand left the circle, he began to fray at the edges. Kasia tried to get a hold of him for just a second, but all she grabbed was thin air.
Defeated, she sank to the floor. “But what if I can’t?” She whispered to the sky as the first light of dawn slowly reached the mountains. Time was up. Her vision changed, her bones began to creak, her whole body fighting against too many sensations at once – the transformation had begun.