Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Inspiration

Last night, I had a very long Facebook chat with future mother/author/rockstar, Amy Lukavics. During this chat, we discussed everything from lemon drops to her strange fascination with flower names. Along the way, we wound up in a conversation about inspiration. What inspires both of us to write? Where do we get our ideas? Amy's last blog post (check her out: http://lovethefreeworld.blogspot.com/) discussed how she came up with characters. Well, following in that path, and taking the suggestions of a few of you readers, I have decided to spend this post talking about the things that inspire me.

What inspires me to write? My stories? My characters?

The short answer: everything and anything.

But, okay, specifics might be nice, I guess.

Well, I get a lot of my inspiration from music. Some of you AW members who know me probably have heard me say that The Veronicas' song "I Can't Stay Away" played a major role in creating the plot of The Duff. With that book, I had the title--thanks to a friend who came to me, pissed that her best friend had been dubbed "The Duff" (designated ugly, fat friend)--and I had an idea for what I wanted the main character to be like. But that song, which I highly recommend as it is AWESOME, gave me the entire plot for the book.

Thank God I bought that CD for Christmas!

Many of you may also know that the character of Wesley came to me while watching an episode of Gossip Girl. Yeah, I have a thing for Ed Westwick, and the character of Chuck became my favorite this season. So, as I am plotting The Duff, I suddenly realize that Bianca's perfect match would be someone who is seemingly shallow. Someone to keep her on her toes. Someone who would, in fact, consider her "The Duff". And Wesley, my leading man, was born!

So, yeah, that's why, if I could cast a movie, Ed Westwick would SO be Wesley.

But I get inspiration from other things, too. Characters are often inspired by people I see in my classes. Girls who I don't really like often make me stop and think, "but why? What is going on in their heads? What about them bugs me?" And then I write until I can understand them better. That's actaully how I got the idea for the MC in my current work in progress. I know a girl like her in real life--well, I'm acquainted with a few like her--and writing this character gave me a chance to think about what might be going on in their heads.

A large source of inspiration for me also comes from the works of others. As I'm sure most of you have discovered, I am a huge fan of Sarah Dessen and Laurie Halse Anderson. Anderson's Speak and Dessen's Keeping the Moon were influences on my early YA writing. I doubt I ever would have done contemporary YA if not for reading their books.

But many of my ideas, you may be surprised to learn, come from film. I love, love, LOVE movies. In fact, I really wanted to major in film up until last summer when I decided my vision would likely prevent me from being a film editor (though, I do still have dreams of doing a screenplay). So, as a movie buff, I find myself frequently inspired by movies.

Cruel Intentions for example. That movie is one of my ALL TIME favorites. Hands down, its the best teen movie I've seen in my life. I so, so want to write something in novel form that is that dark, intense, and yet undeniably funny. Burried in a drawer, I have an outline for a book with similar themes. I hope to one day write it. I hope that will be my masterpiece. Because that movie amazes me still, every time I watch.

So, after that sufficient ramble, you probably understand now that, for me, inspiration may come from anywhere. From a song to a classmate to a movie. From Ed Westwick to Sarah Dessen. Anything can be a source of inspiration. The trick is, finding your voice in it all.

2 comments:

Lunar Amyscope said...

Hahahahahah 'When do we get to meet Rose and Daisy?' Kody you're amazing!

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