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The Moment of Inspiration

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Lookit There View Drop Down
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    Posted: 22 Oct 2018 at 10:58pm
A question for you all, as we wait out the two-week countdown to results. Something I always wonder is, what was the turning point for your idea, what large or small *something* clicked and made you think, "This is the story I'm going to write"?
For my Challenge 2 entry, I had the basic notion of what I was going for, but the moment when it really clicked for me was when I realized I had an odd sideways bit of autobiography I could bring to the tale. I have always had a black...speck, I guess you'd call it, off center in my right eye. I've spent my entire life, if I'm not paying attention and thinking about it, suddenly flicking my eyes to the right because I think I see someone standing there, only to realize in the nanosecond after I do it, "Oh, yeah, it's just that little black dot in my vision." (Seeing as how it's off center, I'm never going to actually "see" it.) I do this at least two or three times a day. 
So that was the grain of inspiration that pushed me to tell this particular tale, about the mother of a dead man who sees his ghost only peripherally or as shadow.
What was your moment/idea/divine intervention? 
Autobiography? Google? An overheard snippet of conversation?


Edited by Lookit There - 22 Oct 2018 at 11:00pm
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lisafox10800 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote lisafox10800 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Oct 2018 at 11:53pm
Taking a good look at my dog and thinking "what do a dog and a childbirth class have in common?" Which led me to remembering my own pregnancies with my yellow Lab and how he'd snuggle with me when I was on bed rest and lay his head on my enormous tummy. That led me to the idea of emotional support, which brought me to doulas... and well, there you have it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote TheDustyZebra Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Oct 2018 at 10:26am
Originally posted by lisafox10800 lisafox10800 wrote:

Taking a good look at my dog and thinking "what do a dog and a childbirth class have in common?"

That sounds very much like my process for this last one! I thought about how a farmers' market and disinfecting wipes could be related, why someone might use disinfecting wipes on fruits or vegetables, and immediately came up with a germaphobe and mental illness.
100MF2020 R1 G26 If at First You Don't Succeed (Historical Fiction)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Zblugg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Oct 2018 at 12:57pm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYPLDU2umVQ 

I'm surprised at how much music plays a role in building my pieces. The chorus in this song is what helped, but it's a pretty song all the same (yay banjos!). I wanted to tell the exact story I told, but thinking about the "inch by inch" thing reminded me of this song, and the inchworms imagery came together. That's all it lacked.

Music in my other pieces:

Mad World - Obvious, in Dog Eat Dog.
Big Wreck's Tomorrow Down - Inspired the detective's motto in "Low", from last year's Screenwriting Challenge.
Various classical pieces were inserted in "May Contain Attraction", my otherwise silent piece from last year's Short Screenplay.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote chrissie0707 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Oct 2018 at 1:55pm
The setting for the story is what clicked for me. With the laundromat location prompt, once I thought about using the laundromat down the road from my house that's right next to train tracks, it really helped the story write itself.
FFC #1: Beneath the Surface 6pts
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote nod1v1ng Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Oct 2018 at 2:47pm
Ha. If I could define it, man, I swear I'd get a lot better at this writing thing instead of being a giant flail all the time! LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote bleustick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Oct 2018 at 5:25pm
I'm not sure, to be honest. I used to base my characters off of people I knew, at least at their foundations, at which point they always very much became their own special creatures. Then I would try to organize my story idea a bit by aligning it loosely to an old fable or fairy tale, particularly lesser well-known ones. That was my old process, plus lots of hot herbal tea and chain-smoking menthols and pretty much never sleeping.

It produced a 7-book series and several interesting slam poetry type volumes, but it wasn't a healthy process and isn't one I intend to replicate nowadays.

After the first round of NYCM FFC this year, I thought I had a process down for flash fic, at least. Check out my prompt, think on it for a few minutes, sleep on it, wake up to miraculous story idea that falls right out in the morning all over my computer screen. Didn't work in the second round, though. Tried it. Nope. Tried writing out at least a rough outline in the morning... ended up scrapping the whole thing right off, realizing it was way too much story for a flash fic (and a flawed one at that). Came up with nothing all day. Got my prompt and word count for a different competition at noon, winged it and had it done by midnight. Went to bed. Woke up. Still COMPLETELY BLANK on round 2 idea, so just sat down, put on my usual writing musics (early 90s somber rock stuff), and stared at the screen until something FINALLY came out. Barely had time to even beta before submission time.

Without cigarettes and sleep deprivation, that light bulb moment is a hard one for me. Not sure how to poke it forward exactly.
FFC: 1 Candy-Coated (Pol-Sat) * 2 Love Beneath (Fantasy)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote sidle_by Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Oct 2018 at 6:16pm
i got prompts for rd 2 early in the morning and basically woke up to check them and then went back to sleep. it seemed to work, because when i woke up i knew who my two main characters were and what the basic idea was going to happen. when i woke up again, i sleepily tapped out my first draft and went for coffee. some edits and things happened after that, of course, but i think that semi-sleepy half aware writing phase really worked for me haha

maybe it as just the not overthinking it feeling??
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote bleustick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Oct 2018 at 9:14pm
Just occurred to me; I did have a bit of a self-discovered exercise I would use when I was in high school that would often help pull at that eureka moment. I would sit down and focus on one sense--touch, taste, sound, sight, smell--and just scribble down absolutely everything that came to that sense at that time. I was usually in a busy activity-filled spot at that time, like waiting for the bus in front of the school after classes or in the cafeteria during lunch or so forth. It was basically just this huge stream-of-consciousness word vomit on a page, the tak-tak-taking of skateboard wheels or acrid sweet scent of a nearby trashcan or the flickering blindness of a low afternoon sun reflecting against street signs... whatever sense I was focusing on at the time.

It was fun, and often caused inspiration to strike in some fashion. I haven't done that in a long time.
FFC: 1 Candy-Coated (Pol-Sat) * 2 Love Beneath (Fantasy)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote jennifer.quail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Oct 2018 at 9:20pm
With these contests, I try to have options in my back pocket (characters that I know I can finagle to fit most genres) and just wait and see what I get. Then I spend an enormous amount of time dithering and write something at the last minute (I do that anyway with anything that has a deadline.) With this contest, with the first round I had nothing as far as characters went, and I found the weird combination of two logical things (poultry farm/thermostat) and genre (suspense) SO ridiculous, I thought about chickens, and then about my dog and her chicken herding, and wrote a serious suspense story from the perspective of a dog. For the second one, it lent itself to a couple characters from a longer story who seemed like they'd fit, and it worked really well. Though now I'm going to have to write more about them because the talking suckling piglet is apparently the breakout star of the show. 
FFC 2020 Ch 1 Gr 21: Cellared
Ch2 Gr 21: The Spy Who Came in For The Cake
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