As a writer sometimes finding inspiration is difficult. Whether it is because you got a little too much of the mundane during the day (“Mommy I dropped my tablet and broke it for the second time.”) or because you are just too tired to turn turn your brain on. I’ve found reading/researching myths and legends from various cultures to be a jump start when I write.
This may be more true for the resident paranormal, supernatural, or most fiction (sorry non-fictioners) writers out there. As humans we like to explain things. Myths and legends, fairy tales, and creation stories –they are all ways that we came up with in order to explain how stuff works, for example: Zeus’s lighting bolts, the sun setting and rising with Apollo’s chariot. Variations in these stories also offer further reading, for example: thunder and eclipses.
Even if a story is less than supernatural simply the drama of some tales can help lead to that familiar jolt of an idea. Above all stories are about people. We create people on the page and, poke them with stick, and politely ask them to dance (okay sometimes not so politely). These situations are often rife with drama and interesting relationships.
Life and death are two topics that have fascinated humans since the beginning and that fragility we all share is a contributing factor. The gods and goddesses of the underworlds, the afterlife, etc are all excellent topics for inspiration because we are naturally curious about such things. And when we begin reading them that part of our brain that say “hmm interesting…” comes to life affording that opportunity for the Muse to strike.
So the next time you find yourself lacking inspiration to weave a tale take a look at Wikipedia or Google and just allow yourself to tumble down the rabbit hole. Even researching urban legends and folk tales centered around your ethnicity or region can offer new pieces of inspiration. You might be surprised where you end up.
You can see this practice in action in my novels. On a Red Horse, King Takes Queen, and Heart and Souls are three paranormal romance novels inspired by that little spark of the macabre at the center of every myth and tall tale.
Find out more about Monica Corwin!