To Turn a Phrase
I have a notebook in which I write down quotes, phrases, lyrics, odd bits of words strung together — all of which have struck a chord or caused a vivid image to appear in my mind. I flick through these when I’m looking for inspiration. When I painted a lot, they became the catalyst for images to transfer to canvas. Now, many of them become inspiration for titles or future plots. Some of them are so persistent I’m forced to write several hundred to several thousand words just to get them to stop running around in my head.
These sniglets occupy several notebooks and computerized files, but are otherwise homeless. They may be scenes, character sketches, or just a reaction. Quick exercises to keep my writing brain engaged.
The other morning on the way to the day job, on comes one of my all-time favorite songs, Twilight Zone by Golden Earrings. That song is just begging for some inspired writing take-off. Think of all the possibilities with a line like:
“Where am I to go, now that I’ve gone too far?”
This is the kind of stuff that sends characters scrambling through my head in search of their scripts as they trundle off to the wardrobe department.
Another one that’s been pestering me, this section from The Man Who Sold the World:
“I thought you died alone, a long long time ago
Oh no, not me
I never lost control
You’re face to face
With The Man Who Sold The World”
It’s not just quotes and song lyrics, though. There are phrases like these:
Drawn by Day
The Disregarded Time Keeper
Before there were gods
It’s only Forever
Roaming the Darklands
All fuel for the ever-active imagination.
So, where do you head for inspiration? What types of things get your creative juices flowing?