I thought I’d put together a post about different types of inspiration. With technology there are endless ways to find your muse. Here are a few that have hit me lately for my Kamlyn Paige series and how I organized it all so I could go back for reference. I hope this helps you in some way with your own projects!
This has never really been a big one for me. I don’t know why, because music is a constant part of my life. But when it comes to inspiring my stories, it just never has…until last week. I had just finished an intense session of yoga at the library (don’t let its name fool you. There was nothing gentle about that stretching!) and I was driving home singing obnoxiously to the radio. Taylor Swift’s Wildest Dreams came on. Now this wasn’t the first time I heard the song, by far, but for some reason that time it struck a chord with me (sorry for the pun). I saw my main character Kamlyn Paige in a situation with another minor character I never planned to show again. It completely changed the direction the series was headed, but in this really great way!
To make sure that I didn’t forget about the song and the idea it gave me I went over to Spotify to create a playlist for my series. (If you don’t have it, then you should download it. Great way to discover new music!) Wildest Dreams would have been the first song I added if Miss Swift hadn’t declined having her album released on Spotify. Oh well, that’s what youtube is for. But I still plan to create a playlist on Spotify for inspiration and it’s also great for marketing because you can share that playlist on your social networking sites. It may get you new readers just because they like a song on your list.
Another song that I feel embodies the entire series is by
30 Seconds to Mars called This Is War
Taylor Swift – Wildest Dreams
This is something I have done for a long time now. When I create a character I already have a vision in mind of what they look like, a short description, and I try to find someone online that embodies that so I can put an image into others to possibly get them interested in the story. (If they like the actor I picked as the inspiration for my character then maybe they’ll think the book is worth checking out.)
Most of the time I already know which actor or actress is my inspiration and I’ll just pull up an image on google and save it to share as an inspiration photo on Instagram, Pintrest, Twitter, and Facebook. But if I haven’t found that right person yet I will type in a short description (like long wavy brown hair) and see what comes up. If I sift through enough photos I usually find one that’s close. When it comes to sharing this inspiration I would say, for me, Instagram and Twitter work the best. I still haven’t created enough of a following on Pinterest and to be honest, I just don’t get it yet. I liked creating boards for my own references, but that’s about it. I don’t really know if anyone else looks at them or not. I really like posting them to Instagram now that they have the layout feature, too! I have created some really great inspiration collage pictures with it that I use to promote.
I will often post a pictures of the character inspiration and then attach a brief profile of that character to share on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.These have gotten a lot of responses, especially when they aren’t for people like the creatures and beings of Broken Angel.
There’s a lot of times, especially in the Kamlyn Paige series, where I’m writing about a place I’ve never been to. In those situations I always Wikipedia the town to learn all I can about it. This often includes some pictures, but to get a real feel of what it’s like there I will use google maps street view and basically take a virtual tour of where I want to write about. This has come in super handy for lengthy descriptions I would have otherwise been lost on.
Spencer, TN for my upcoming Kamlyn Paige novel Earth Angel
This one is a toughie sometimes because there’s so much out there. It seems like every time I tried to look up “Supernatural Creatures or Beings” for a list, everything from the TV show Supernatural came up. I wasn’t looking to copy their monsters. I wanted to find my own. I finally found what I would call a master list of monsters on Wikipedia that has been the most helpful research for the Kamlyn Paige series and I’m sure many books after them.
Other than that, I just use google to search monsters, beings, creatures, spirits, demons, and anything else I can think of in hopes that a Supernatural fan site doesn’t come up. (Not that I’m not a fan! I love that show!)
I just want my work to be original and not remind my readers of someone else’s work. So those are my major inspirations right now and how I like to organize them. Mostly my organizing is all done on my computer in ways that it makes it easy to share with my social network sites.
I hoped this has given you some inspiration! If you have any of your own inspirational tricks, leave them in the comments section for others (and myself!)