I guess my inspiration comes in big crashing waves.
Today I had two sources of inspiration. The first hit because I needed to know about flashlights in 1951. I couldn’t very well have a character carrying one if they didn’t exist. What did they look like? How did they turn on? Voila! I present the Big Beam Lantern. It’s perfect for the scene. Wouldn’t fit in my kitchen junk drawer, but this isn’t about me.
This photo led to things happening in the scene that I didn’t intend. The light is bigger and stronger — what will my characters see they wouldn’t otherwise see? This flashlight/lantern can stand on it’s own. Where might they use it? I have the perfect answer.
My second bit of inspiration was a snippet of memory from watching a video on FB with author Beatriz Williams (one of my favorites). I remember Beatriz saying (I’m paraphrasing, I don’t recall exactly)…When all else fails, throw in a murder. Now I don’t write murderous stories but this popped into my head when one of my character revealed a dark family secret. What if there was the possibility of violence or murder? What would that do to the story? What if simply believing someone is guilty of a crime changes the course of your characters’ lives — even if there was no crime at all?
Have you ever been inspired by an object like this old flashlight? I wonder who owned this one and what they looked for. I hope they found it!
Have you ever remembered a snippet of advice and allowed it to lead you down a whole new path in your story? I’d never considered this before, but I think that the twist of possibility might just do enough harm to do good by the story!
What’s inspiring your writing today?