Many writers have different sources of inspiration, be it music, reading other books, people watching, their life experiences etc.
I have been heavily influenced by David Eddings- I read and reread the Belgariad and Malloreon sooo many times as a kid, the Belgariad especially. This was my first immersion into fantasy, and it helped shape who I am today.
When I started writing The Lowest Realm 17 years ago, I had the drive and inspiration, and managed to write what was, at the time, a decent prologue and first chapter.
But something was missing. My friends who read it said that I left them hanging, they HAD to read more. The problem, though, was I had run out of steam. Already, my story was headed towards every fantasy trope that writers try to avoid today: stranger in the lands gets drawn into a quest, completes said quest, gets the princess and becomes a mighty king, and they live happily ever after. Yawn!
I finally shelved the project, threw out all of my backstory notes, and just kept the word doc and maps. I didn’t touch it again until April 19.
I had been talking to my mother-inlaw, and she had expressed interest that I had been writing a novel. I finally fished out the original files and dusted them off, but I still wasn’t happy with where the story was headed. My narrative was a bit off too, it needed a lot of work.
And then one day, I was scrolling through my Facebook feed, and came across a random post that evoked some sort of powerful reaction in my brain, and I realised the missing link to my story. I cannot express enough, how electrifying this moment was, it was like I’d been zapped in the stomach on an electic fence back on the farm.
This post may not mean much to you, the reader, but this image started a fire in my brain, and for the first time in 17 years, I started to write.
There was still one key thing missing though. I draw a lot of inspiration through random songs here and there which get my creativity flowing, but I realise now that I was missing my muse. Inspiration is one thing, but a muse that magically helps me get the story on the page was another thing altogether.
I found that muse in the form of a simple cover song. I had been listening to Mumford & Sons on YouTube, and one day I was in the mood for a bit of Springsteen. I typed in ‘I’m on fire’ and there, staring me in the face, was a cover of that song by Mumfords.
This song gave me a similar reaction to the above post, and I think I wrote like 6 chapters in a week just from listening to this song.
Mumfords have pretty much gotten me through writing The Lowest Realm, and who knows, I may even dedicate a book to them.
These things that inspired me may make the next person roll their eyes and smirk, and that’s ok. There is inspiration and a muse out there for everyone, we just have to find it.
May you forever hold Am in your hearts x