Writing is theft. Confession time: there are no characters, situations, or concepts in my writing I haven’t lifted from a real world experience. While anything is fair game for a story, I’m most focused on having “real characters” that a reader can relate to and believe are real while I make a world full of the fantastic these normal people have to deal with. Because I like character studies, my most stolen tidbits comes from the surrounding people.
When I talk to you with that over eager, boisterous barrage of questions, I am interested in you, but I’m also pilfering all your experiences and responses to mash up later when I sit down to write. Do not leave me alone in a room because I rifle through every drawer. There’s no shame in my cat killing curiosity and there’s no end to it. Tell me to back off anytime now. I know my intensity is off-putting, and I try to keep a lid on it. If we ever meet, I hope you’d never suspect how hungry I am to hear your life story. How much I want to dig into an abstract hobby of yours. I want facts I can check to see if you’re the honest sort, but either truth or lies, I’ll incorporate that study to some Frankenstein-esque mash up of you and four other people I met this week. It’s alive, and the only part I can claim rights to is how I fit the Tetris blocks together.
What in your day-to-day life do you steal the most inspiration from? Are your gems personal experiences and past events? Or do you explore expansive new places, plumbing each place for its local traditions, retooling them to your desires? Do current or past politics spur you into creative world building? Are you seeking to recapture old myths and fairytales in an unique way? Or maybe you dream of technological break through in the present and think of what they’d mean in the future (or what they would mean if delivered to the past)? There’s so much information offered, rife for a writer to pluck up and entwine into a new story. How is a creative to choose? Tell me what you hunt for, what parts of your story are the “most real” and how do you obscure the origins of those tidbits?