Thursday, 30 July 2009

AW July Blog Chain

I am participating in AW July Blog Chain, where each person asks writing related question to the next person to answer on the blog. Adina's question for me: What is your favourite subject to write about and where do you get your inspiration? Not necessarily a favourite subject, as that would be too limiting for a writer, but my favourite genres to write are Fantasy and Indian fiction. I have tried writing various different things and so far these are the two I am focusing on, as those are the stories that call strongly to me. Indian fiction simply because of my background. I feel a natural affinity to those stories. Fantasy, because I love it. I love reading it, I love dreaming it. Fantasy offers the ultimate escapism as well as an opportunity to wonder what kind of world one could create. Though I think possibilities are endless in any form of fiction. I have an interest in science fiction too, but I am not quite ready to write it yet, though it is also a definite possibility for the future. My inspiration - it comes from anywhere and everywhere. For example, last weekend I was chatting to my mom over the phone. She said something, and later on that evening I thought what if that actually happened, and voila, I have an idea for a novel. It needs developing, but I have got the main theme. And if I manage to get it plotted, that's what I will be doing for NaNo. For novels, I never lack ideas. For short stories it's a different matter. I have only tried to write short stories with markets in mind, which means following guidelines, and I have really hard time coming up with ideas. But since I have decided that short stories aren't my thing, it doesn't matter. So inspiration for novel - that's always there, because I get inspired from all different sorts of stuff. I have started a story from a name, from a situation. My WIP 1 started when I wanted to explore the lives of three best friends who are moving into adult lives. For a fantasy novel, I thought of a family, then a city they would live in. And then the plot came. I think inspiration is just a matter of thinking WHAT IF. If you ask the questions, answers will come. My question for the next person in the chain, upsidedowngirl - you are a freelance writer. Do you enjoy the subjects/articles you write, or do you pick what's available as a job? What difference does it make on the level of your motivation and enjoyment if you have to write about things you are not passionate about? Is it the act of writing that's important, or the act of writing what you want?


  1. It's interesting that inspiration for different lengths of writing is different for you. Maybe it's because for the short story, if you write with a specific market in mind, there's too many constraints?

  2. DniC,

    Yes because of the constraints, and also because I find that there isn't enough space to get attached to the characters. If I spend too much time on it, I always end up finding a novel. Also, it does seem like a waste of time to spend weeks planning a short story. (I know it's a diminishing art, but not my thing)

  3. Like you, my inspiration comes from everywhere and anything. But I like writing all kinds of lengths from flash fiction to full novels.

    And I totally agree that WHAT IF is the key to inspiration.

  4. I love how inspiration just presents itself. I find inspiration pops up at the oddest of moments too! In the car, right as I'm trying to go to sleep ... never when I'm writing, at the computer, filling up white pages. :)

    Enjoy those crazy inspiring moments!

  5. Interesting. While I find I don't currently have the discipline to stick with a whole novel I have found myself drawn to short stories. If I become attached to a character I just write another short story about them.

    I hope to get some books out in the same style as "The Martian Chronicles" and "I, Robot" a novel written in a series of short stories.

  6. C R Ward - it's lucky that your inspiration applies to different mediums.

    Aimee - I love those sudden crazy inspiring moments. Though have you noticed they happen more at non-writing times than writing times? :P

    Rosemerry - that's interesting that you bring up the topic about discipline. While short stories do take much less time, I do always find overall I waste more time on them for little satisfaction. Starting with an idea is easy enough, but I have hard time figuring out how to bring short story to conclusion within time constraints, which means usually focusing on simple issue. In the end, I usually end up with plot ideas and characters who could be in a novel, and then I think it's such a waste to put them in a short story.

  7. What If is always a big key to inspiration, I love to do it with all sorts of things. M< main problem with novels is that I tend to have a good story, a good bone but I never manage to get enough flesh for it to be more than 30'000 words.

  8. I always feel that short stories are more difficult to write because of its ending. It has to finish in a good way.
    I am from Bangladesh (a neighboring country of India). Since you like Indian fiction, I invite you to read two short stories from South Asia:

  9. Olivia, perhaps you should try more short stories and novella. I know there isn't a huge market for them, but people who are good at them still managed to make their way to publication.

    Razib, thank you. I will check out the blogs.