I draw “inspiration” from Prose Challenges like this one. I like the prompts. I like to be prompted. Some prompts make me feel happy, so I write happy, some make me mad, so I write angry, but the prompts I choose to respond to always make me feel something. It is then on me to express that feeling well. Emotion, after all, is the heart of any story.
An example would be a recent prompt by @KeilanaA called, ”The Story of my First Love.” She added that her challenge could (or should) be “Fiction/ Non-fiction.“ Now that intrigued me. I read that to mean we were to mix fiction and non-fiction, a mash-up if you will. That might have been a misinterpretation on my part, but that is ok too. Are we not allowed to interpret a prompt any way we want to? KeilanaA was asking me to write about my first love… and she was allowing me to fictionalize it, or to “stretch it.” Well, Yee-haw! That is what I almost always do anyways! I write about my experiences and I stretch them. Stretching is what makes writing fun (and reading I might add). Hell, stretching made Mark Twain, the greatest stretcher of them all, two seperate fortunes!
So I wrote a story about my first love like KeilanaA asked me to and I guess I have stretched the hell out of it. I must be stretching it like taffy. I say I must be stretching because it has become long. Really long. So long that I am only half-way through it and the prompt is already over. But I am having a ton of fun writing and remembering, and when I read back I realize that I didn’t really stretch all that much after all. I have shrunk it, in fact, deleting the mundane.
It’s slowly turning into a what I think is a pretty good coming of age story. To make it more interesting for me to write I took a different point-of-view... I became her. Now there is a stretch, lol. Granted, writing from her viewpoint means I am assuming a lot, but I don’t think I am too far off the mark with my assumptions. This girl was very transparent, after all. She left little guesswork. She always spoke her heart, good or bad. I guess she learned that from her terrific mother, a woman I admired very much. Looking at our relationship from this angle has forced me to look at myself in a bright new light that ain’t always flattering, and is sometimes downright ugly.
My character, the villain in the story is, or was, a sixteen/seventeen year old with raging hormones. Those kinds rarely make the best decisions, or choose the right girl (more is the pity), and this stupid character is no exception. But hey, that kid lived and he learned. He ultimately used these experiences to find the right girl, and those experiences taught him to treat this new girl better, so that he wouldn’t ever lose her.
And the heroine moved on easily enough. She married a man better suited to her, and they have made a happy family out there somewhere, I hope.
I’m a little worried about my wife reading it. She has a jealous bone, you know? So I may never finish the story (I already know the end, and now you do too), so there is really no need to finish. The prompt has ended, and not finishing it is no tragedy. Hell, my “drafts” are littered with unfinished tales. What is one more?
Anyways, getting back to prompts. I loved the one KeilanaA offered up. It led me down a memory lane I have not walked in a long time, and it inspired me to try to tell that story.
And I loved this prompt by @Meadow, as it allowed me to share my inspiration. The “Challenges” that Prose and that Proser’s supply are the reason I stick around the site.
So thank you Meadow, and thank you KeilanaA for the challenges. And I thank all of you other Proser’s who inspire me every day.
Things I didn’t know I knew
I have different types of inspiration. There is the "Cambrian Explosion" variation, where I have an idea that I have been tossing around in my head for awhile, sometimes hours, or days, even weeks. Then all of a sudden, bada bada bing, and it all comes together and clicks into place! And then there are the words driven by a passion fueled by either pain or rage, more thrown onto the paper that written. Then there are the prompts, or challenges, (such as these), or a response to some one who has impacted me; these I put conscious thought into. Ultimately though, the first thought that comes to mind when I think of the word, "inspiration" is the writing that flows, unchecked, and usually remains unrevised, unedited; the final draft is almost always the rough draft, and these are the words that are the most amazing and mysterious to me. The words that I didn't know I knew, the knowledge that seems to come from someone that knows me better than I do, the pages I flip back to when i am spent, so that I can read what I have written, because I have no idea what I have no idea what my pen has said.
Though many people find inspiration in beautiful, awesome things like peaceful or beautiful places, art works, amazing successful people and so on.
My source of inspiration is just my life. Whenever I feel sad or I have too many thoughts to handle, I resort to writing. Life is hard for almost everyone. These problems which seem to have no solution pushes me to write. When I see this world full of hypocrisy, greed, deception, inequality and crazy people, it affects me. I write what I feel...
The things that inspire me.
I am often inspired by fiction. More specifically, I am inspired by characters I find myself relating to. For example, I bring Bruno and Mirabel Madrigal from the 2021 film Encanto. I relate to Bruno due to his awkward nature, and the genuine belief that things that go wrong due to him and his visions.
The main reason I relate to these characters is their shared trait- both Madrigals are considered black sheep of the village. Bruno due to his gift, and Mirabel due to her lack thereof. They stand out and often feel less than the rest of their family. They feel unimportant, and have very different methods of coping. Where Bruno attempts to hide from the world, Mirabel works as hard as possible to stand out and show that she is not as unimportant as others may think of her. As an autistic person, I understand how they must feel, like fish out of water.
They both inspire me to write, because they remind me most of myself.
inspiration isn’t always pretty
when sadness drives your writing
it's hard to think of it as inspiration
i most feel the need to write
when i'm in a tough spot
when i don't know what's gonna come of right now
-or i do, and i don't like the outcome i'm expecting
the most heart-wrenching words, poems, stories-
those are the ones i enjoy the most
because they make me feel
deep feelings are my inspiration
even of they aren't always pretty
The inspiration I have
comes from the things
I can't say out loud.
I have been trained to be the pleasant person,
the one that keeps her thoughts
trapped within her mind,
never allowed to reach the surface.
when I write,
I am able to find freedom.
I can speak what I want
to whomever I want
without the fear of confrontation.
That is what inspires me,
the ability to speak my mind.
I’ll tell you what
Mythology/ mostly greek and Norse. A whole religion based on stories that people believed back then. Meaning if you sold people a believable story or fact they believe it's true so it becomes true in their minds.
Roald Dahl is the author that wrote my favorite childhood book BFG.
Veronica Roth the author of Divergent, helped me find books that I love which is the mostly dystopian world.
Alexandra Bracken wrote Lore my absolute favorite Greek mythology book.
Karen M. Mcmanus the author of One of Us is Lying gave me the classic breakfast club with murder, it's like the unknown cookie recipe that you never knew was an actual recipe. These authors helped me realize that if I had a story to tell, that I could tell it however I wanted it to be. Other stories give me ideas while the music flows in my ears giving me the motivation to continue the story.
Inspiration isn't simple for me. It must be obtained from the unobtainable. My life is not an exciting one, so I must make do with what I have and savor the stranger moments. I come from the strong opinion that good tales come from feeling, not the actual events. That's how most things work out for me. Emotions; the keystone to literary intrigue that few bother to mention. No matter the adventures in life, the telling (and perhaps the doing) of them will remain tasteless without their ultimate components, the "in the moment" experience. No matter how mundane many things seem, the complicated emotions captured in these moments is what creates great pieces of writing. I believe writing (well at least) is more of a meditative exercise than a creative skill. To understand an intriguing situation to the fullest, the people, things, and inner world must be observed to their microscopic details. Feelings are more than the standard anger, sadness, boredom, or happiness. Each moment of emotion is a complex alloy of many factors. The inner world is a fluid place. Certain variants of an emotion may never be felt again after their brief presence in the mind. Many others might be so unique to the individual that trying to describe them would be like trying to describe flavor to a person with no taste buds.
Any ill fated attempts to understand ones emotions at the highest degree is a frustratingly inspirational task. This curious phenomena is what motivates me to write. To describe pieces of my inner world is something I aspire to explore to the best of my abilities. It's an aimless task, one hundred percent chance of ending in failure. No matter the effort, the genuine states of an individuals mind cannot be experienced through writing. Despite this, I write on.
This path of mine is more of a realm kept well tread rather than well understood. The best times for writing are fresh out of a rare moment. Those times when something felt much different. Anything that catches my attention is fair game for a story's base ingredients. The story itself doesn't have to do anything with the events that conjured those emotions in the first place. To get to the ends is the goal, no matter the means.
Last night I had a dream that both stumped and pleased me. I was walking around in a book store that had some sort of local writers convention going on. A stand with several neat piles of beige colored booklets caught my eye. Upon taking a closer look I couldn't believe what I was seeing. They where vintage poetry anthologies. I liked a few of the passages I skimmed through, but that wasn't the interesting part. Each page and cover popped with outsider illustrations. They looked like a warped hybrid of The Far Side and All Tomorrows. Precise stippling, bold pen lines, cartoonish animal grins, twisted creatures, it was all there on the old pages. Fifteen dollars a book, the lime green laminated sheet of paper on the stand made this clear. They were fifteen dollars despite the original six dollars and fifty cents printed on the upper right hand of the covers. I was going to buy one nonetheless.
I could see everything, as clear as the bright florescent lights above allowed. Bears, lizards, snarls, tongues, toothy smiles, the numerous beasts, they all stood there, a family photo pose, their simple forms carved from harsh shading. This is rare for my dreams. Crisp vision is uncommon, perhaps more of a fluke in the sleep realm. Of course, a third of me knew it wasn't real, but the other two thirds wanted to verify their existence. I stared at those covers for a long time. It all stayed put until it didn't. My spirits withered for every second a facial expression or character changed in the blink of an eye. The lines changed, but their clarity remained intact. The idea of them stayed too, a book of perpetual play, a drawing style that would fascinate me enough to emulate it, a perfect textual-artistic layout for the all books I'd wanted to write. I wanted to bring it home. They were thin but not crumpled from age. This satisfied me. Several could fit in my small bag. They were not heavy. I could marvel at their strange nature at my desk and read the times new roman between the curious drawings. Deciding whether to buy two, one, or three, kept me mulling over in that store for a while. The wallet never came to my hand.
I'm still convinced I purchased one. If not, I'd be disregarding my own work. Little did I know at that store, I was looking at a grand design of my sub conscious. I'd been hashing through non workable illustration ideas for months and some inner depths had already done it for me. Then everything went away. I couldn't even pull a piece of it out. Every page of those books will forever be lost, no matter the intricacy of their design. All I can do is create from a shadow of a memory. It's enough for me. The experience is the keystone, the indescribable. It's explaining the unexplainable, or rather showing it.