Inspired Writing - A Piece Of My Mind
Many years ago, I use to love writer's roundtables/panels at Mystery and Science Fiction conventions. This is where writers of all sorts got together and just talked about their craft, about their genres, and just shared a few laughs. Such guest like Hal Clements, Allan Wold, Frederik Pohl, Mike Allen, Elizabeth Black and many others attended. You could compare this to the SUNDANCE CHANNEL'S 'THE WRITERS' ROOM. What I loved about these panels was the freedom to enjoy the fellowship of learning how other writers think. Friendships were made on panels like that.
I messaged a few writer friends with a challenge of Who or What Inspires you? 50-350 words. Before I let any of my friends attempt this challenge I figured I should start this off. If you ask someone else to do something, you need to do it!
There is an old song sung by Cass Elliot “You gotta make your own kind of music, sing your own special song.” That is what I believe also when regards to my writing. I am inspired to create for me...not anyone else. When I create a column, a short story or even a novel, it is my piece. It is the way I created it. My work, my words, and my vision...my inspirations.--Bennet Pomerantz
These are the responses I got back from the other authors.
Tarah Scott - Author of My Highland Love
A friend once told me "You didn't choose writing. Writing chose you." That's probably true. I got the bug to write in my early thirties, but resisted the urge until it became a compulsion that kept me awake nights as I neared the forty year mark. I gave in—thinking I would get the silly idea out of my system—and wrote. Then I shared that first very raw (and completely unedited) scene with someone who loved it. That person gave me a contact for an editor to submit the few pages to, "as is" she emphasized. That, as they say, was that. Now I'm mainlined into writing and couldn’t turn back if I wanted. What inspired me to write? Insanity and perhaps the understanding that everyone needs at least one good obsession.
K.B. Miller - Author of Blood Moon
When I was a little girl, my parents encouraged me to read. That’s not quite true ... they were adamant that my brothers, sisters and I read every day. Because of their insistence of reading, my dream of being a writer was nurtured. I would walk around with two different Golden Books, and take those stories, mix them together with my own story and make up something totally different. They bought every book they could find that was age appropriate and I devoured them.
When I was thirteen, I read The Forbidden Game by L.J. Smith. After putting that book down, I knew that being a storyteller was what I wanted to do with my life. I began writing and haven’t looked back. Thanks Mom and Dad!
Rachel Rawlings - Author of The Morrigna
Who inspired me to become a writer? That’s a tough one. If you asked me in middle school when poetry was my favorite form of expression I would have said Edgar Allan Poe. The words and beat of The Raven captured my imagination. It certainly wasn’t the lessons on iambic pentameter. In high school when I had notebooks full of “works in progress” I would have answered Stephen King and Anne Rice without hesitation. Their ability to thrill and scare the reader, all the while they are subtly making you think about the world or human psyche is still mind blowing to me. Reading their work has made me a better writer. I will always find inspiration in Poe, King, Rice and countless others but the single most inspiring person was Laurell K. Hamilton – the reason may surprise you. For years I have shied away from mentioning the author specifically. I was afraid of offending (love her or hate her) a bestselling author. This of course was assuming someone like her would even hear about what I said. I realized recently that the real reason she inspired me to put pen to paper in no way diminishes the enjoyment I had reading her novels up to that point. Just before I started writing my first novel I was an avid and vested reader of one of Ms. Hamilton’s series, often visiting her blog and fan page to see what she and other readers had to say. Several books in the series had taken a plot turn I found frustrating for lack of a better word. According to the reader threads I wasn’t alone. Ms. Hamilton responded to her readers as she often does. Her response was along the lines of this is her story and her characters – all of that true. She continued on about how she would not be swayed by reader opinion and often found that when readers vehemently expressed their views about how a plot should go she often goes the opposite direction. Her words, whether you agree with them or not got me thinking. Would I have done things differently if I was writing a novel? The answer was yes. So I did exactly that
Ashley Fontainne - The Author of the Number Seventy Five
Real life. I take imaginary characters and insert them in real situations then let them run amok. For example, my series Eviscerating the Snake is rooted in the vicious cycle better known as revenge. You hurt me, I hurt you, then you hurt me more, etc. It never stops once started. Once you drop that rock in the pond, the ripples reach far beyond your wildest imagination. I really wanted the reader to get the sense of the high cost of seeking personal justice, and perhaps give pause in their own life if they are considering exacting vengeance on someone.
Master Poet Larry Jaffee
I thought I would take a moment on this lovely August evening to tell you about a method I use for writing that you might find to be of interest. I find it helps me get to the kernel of an idea and express it with words. I adopted it when I learned about an artist friend. She called it Look and Put. The artist looks at an object and paints it as she sees it. I thought to myself, "Can I do that with writing?" So I came up with this process of looking at something and writing it -- writing it just as I see it. I cannot tell you how valuable this has been to me as a poet and writer. It has gotten me through writer's block on numerous occasions in addition to making me a better writer.
What I do is look at something and it could be anything from a romantic notion to writing about an electronic gizmo. I really look at it and start sketching what I see with words. I look deeper (I don't just want the surface rush) I want the underneath, the dark side of the moon so to speak. As I sketch it out with words I can start to feel it in my fingers, I feel it deep. And the words start to come together and I move from sketching to painting to sculpting and cutting away until the essence is captured.
Melissa Keir - Author of Three's a Crowd and Second Time's the Charm
Back in the golden ages of writing when we used typewriters and there wasn’t backspace correction, my mom had the ambition to become a published romance writer. At that time, I was a self-absorbed teenager who read as many romance novels as I could get my hands on. I remember my mom asking me to read her manuscript. The heavy weight of the hundreds of typed pages. The anticipation on her face. Her story was good, but not original. It seemed like all the books back then were of one type-bodice rippers. My mom mailed her manuscript off in a large manila envelope and then waited, hoped and prayed. Her manuscript wasn’t accepted but she received some nice feedback.
My mom has been gone about fifteen years now, but her memory and life inspired me to become a writer. At first, I was putting the angst down on paper of dealing with life’s injustices, the death of a loved one, the fear of our own mortality, the unfairness of wealth. But soon, I moved into writing stories that mattered to me—romances about a couple and their quest for happily ever after.
Looking back, it was my mom that inspired me to try writing, to use it to share my feelings and thoughts. I know she’d be proud of who I am today.
Barbara Watkins - Author of Thorns of an Innocent Soul, Co-author of Six Pack of Blood
There really isn’t one specific thing that inspires me to write – more like a multitude of things. I’m often inspired to write do to my surroundings. Something as simple as a song playing on the radio, a vivid dream, or my own struggles in life can trigger the uncontrollable urge to put pen to paper. Writing, for me, is a getaway – a vacation of sorts. It takes me to a place of adventure where I’m surrounded by colorful characters – a place where I can live out my fantasies, where suddenly the impossible becomes possible.
Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Clive Barker, H.P. Lovecraft, and every Indie author who pours out their heart on paper, who often struggle to get a glimpse of recognition they so deserve –they’re the new ‘voice’ of literature – a force to be reckoned with.
PROMPT Of the Month: It’s your turn, who or what inspires you? As a writer? As a creator?
Until next time, reach for the stars!
Columnist: Bennet Pomerantz has covered the Audio medium for the last 20 years. He has syndicated newspaper columns, AUDIOWORLD and "Movies of Your Mind", in Affaire De Coeur Magazine. In which he showcase his vast and diverse knowledge of the spoken word medium.
He is also known as a media review critic (books, music, graphic novels, DVDs, CDs) in his weekly syndicated newspaper column "A Piece of the Page". He also is a ranked media reviewer for Amazon.com. http://www.facebook.com/bennet.pomerantz1 / E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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