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Inspiration...where do you get it?

Hi everyone! I am so excited for this to be my first post to the Hot-Spot!

I was so excited as a matter of fact, that when I sat down to write the post...I blanked. I couldn't think of a single thing that I felt compared to the other awesome bloggers/authors already on here.

So I went looking for inspiration.

That's when the obvious fairly smacked me on the head. It's the question every author hears at least once, right? "Where do you get your ideas from?" Whoever it is - your aunt, sister, a fan - usually is looking for some Jedi Mind Trick kind of answer. But as one of my blog-mates pointed out recently, the truth of a writer's life is not always the most glamorous...

So I won't tell you that most likely we've looked at a bowl of fruit to come up with that plotline about drug smugglers who hustle their dope across the border stashed inside crated bananas, and the hired guard is this guy who's a walking wet dream for darn near anyone. Of course, the guy's long lost love is the FBI agent scouting the laced fruit and holding out in hopes that his man isn't the bad guy he appears to be. Which he isn't, because he's working undercover for the local narcotics unit to bust the morons who drove his family fruit market out of business...

(Even though the most mundane things can lead to some of the best stories I've ever read!)

But when I have my choice of things, much like I did with this blog, I prefer to find my inspiration from a little more, um, user friendly source. Like this cutie who is begging for protection from some nasty jerk who is getting ready to break into his ground-level apartment. But, of course, that won't happen because the hunky cop next door will see the burgler sneak by the patio door in time to save the day...and will be rewarded with smoking hot thank-you sex. *grin*

Then there is this hottie's story waiting to evolve from the heavenly vision of his backside. Couldn't you see him on vacation in a rural town to visit his old college roommate, finding that he thrills at the prospect of exhibitionism and his roomie? Or maybe he delights in that moment when his shirt is over his eyes, hoping that his friend will twist his shirt in just that way to keep him restrained, blinded to everything but the touch of smooth fingers playing over his skin, hot breath ghosting over tense muscles and soft lips teasing him, stirring him to incoherency...*ahem*

One of my not-so-writer-friendly quirks is that I have the hardest time writing villains. So, I go looking for inspiration there too. I mean, the bad guy can be psychotic and hot too, right? But then...maybe he's not the villain. Maybe he's a student working his way through grad school by performing in a striptease show on the Vegas strip, convinced by an ex-lover that he's not worth much. Maybe the cowboy on vacation from his ex, that one right there in the front row (don't you see him?), wants to know more about the sexy dancer with shadows haunting his eyes. Maybe their one-night-stand will change their lives.

Just maybe...


Where do you find your inspiration?

Em Woods
NOT ANYMORE, released Sept 27th @ TEB
CHASING ALEX, coming December 13, 2010


Mark James said...

I once got inspiration for a short story when I was stuck in traffic.

A stop sign had been knocked over by a rain storm, and there was a little crowd of birds around the water hole left by the metal pole.

The birds and the waterhole were inspiration for a story about a cutie who leaves home and finds his true love in a carnival strong man who paints astrological symbols on the inside of his dwarf friend's trailer.

No idea how those two things connected. They just did.

No Jedi Mind Tricks here . . . unfortunately.

Great post, Em.

Em Woods said...


I've tried. I can't figure how those two connect either. LOL.

Mmmm...Jedi Mind Trick, maybe it was... :)

Thanks for stopping by.

Lisabet Sarai said...

Excellent blog, Em!

I think your examples go a long way toward explaining the magic.

(Love your not-villain, especially!)


Anonymous said...

OK, that bowl of fruit inspiration is impressive! I want that story. And the other three. Especially the exhibitionist on the beach. And the grateful little cutie. So get to work, OK, Em? ;)

Apparently, I get a sort of blank look on my face when inspiration hits. People usually react with a groan and a question about what the hell set me off into writer land this time. I love photos like you do, but also restaurants. I'm an inappropriate starer. I like figuring out who's with who, why, and what if they weren't just friends having a beer after a hard day on the job?

Great post, Em!

JP said...

Yes, I'll take the 'villain' and find out just how villainous he can be! LOL My latest inspiration came from listening to 2 guys talking in a restaurant - the accents were so sexy (Hungarian I found out when I asked)that I thought that's it - Hungarian vampires for my next and last installment of My Vampire and I - Blood Lure.

Cindy Spencer Pape said...

That sounds just about right, Em. Ideas come from the strangest places. (Though the photos sure don't hurt either!)

Jason said...

Sometimes a song will set me off or a dream!


Em Woods said...

Missy, you know I've added them to list of ideas! LOL.

You and JP are right. Restaurants are such fertile ground for plucking ideas and snippets of conversations.

Em Woods said...

Thanks Lisabet! That villain was a delicious find. LOL.

JP - Hungarian Vampires? Mmmm...and you're working on that one right this very second, right? *grin*

Cindy, I just *love* pictures...

Patti Shenberger said...

Em, great blog. Ides come from everywhere, don't they? Even th emost mundane thing can spark the best ideas ever. Keep up the great work!

Em Woods said...

Jase, songs are another favorite of mine. I can have "that song" playing in the background while I write the MCs first love scene or their first lends something to it, you know?

Thanks for swinging by!

Ava March said...

Fab post, Em! Now you have to write the cutie's story and the vacationing hottie's story ;)

Songs have been 'it' for me lately. Never used to be that way, but for some odd reason, the muse has been lovin on songs.

I'm totally right with Missy on the inappropriate staring & musing, especially at restaurants. lol

AllureVanSanz said...

In order to be a successful writer, I think we all have to be a bit nuts (or a lot nuts in my case). Inspiration comes from everywhere because we can't keep our mind focused on the mundane/the norm.

A song, a picture, a plant, an object, an overheard conversation, or an unexpected incident. There's nothing that has happened to me I haven't used or plan to use.

Great blog!

<3 ya


Nichelle Gregory said...

Inspiration is a funny thing! It's always cool to learn what inspires other writers and I agree with Allure, we've all gotta be a little bit nuts! ;)

Lily Harlem said...

Great post and food for thought. I scratched my head thinking about inspiration. I guess mine comes from all over the place, sometimes a song, a film, or a snap shot of a scene that ends up in the middle of the book. For Escape to the Country I had an idea for the title, to start with it was a very short story but then the characters kept developing and demanding more - and more! They made the inspiration happen!

Marilu Mann said...

Great post, Em...

Inspiration can come from so many things - music, news headlines, overheard conversations, people-watching...

That's a big one for me...especially in airports! LOL

Thanks for sharing.