Friday, April 24, 2015

Random Fridays: Let's Talk About Writing
Hello, everyone! I wasn't planning on doing Random Fridays at all this month, what with Camp NaNo and school and all that sort of thing. However, I realized this morning that this week's theme is writing, and, well, I can't pass that up, now can I? Emma left the exact topic fairly open, so I thought I'd talk about where I get my inspiration.

One major source of inspiration for me is roleplays. Some of you may know that my Berstru Tales series were inspired by the Battle! thread on the Underground. Most of the main characters were directly taken from that roleplay, and many of those that weren't (Dustin, Hunter, and Aleta) were still very heavily based on characters from the Battle! thread. (For any Underground elves who are curious: all three characters are inspired by Liessa's characters. Dustin and Hunter came from Ben and Cris, obviously, and Aleta, less obviously, was semi-based on Audri.) In fact, I think there's only three or four major characters who didn't, in some way, have their origins in the Battle! thread.

Another story that was strongly (though much less obviously) influenced by a roleplay thread is Poison Lies. The main characters were roughly inspired by three characters on the Character Chat thread on the Underground- not just any characters, though. These three were (and still are) some of my favorite characters made up by my friends, and they tend to cause me (and each other) a lot of heartbreak.

As I've mentioned before, another source of inspiration for my stories is music. I've written a great many characters, short stories, scenes, and even a whole novel, based on songs. Lately, music in and of itself has directly inspired fewer and fewer of my projects, but it remains an important factor. Part of the reason is that it's had less direct effects is likely that I'm writing fewer short stories, which are the main works that I write based off of songs.

A third place I find inspiration is, naturally, in books. How exactly the books inspire my writing varies, however. Sometimes the book inspires my novel directly. For example, my Berstru Tales dragons were heavily influenced by the dragons in The Inheritance Cycle, and The Lay of the Nightblade was partially inspired by Tolkien's Lay of Beren and Luthien. Also, several aspects of Danger in the Tower, my 12 Dancing Princesses retelling, were inspired by Entwined and Tales of Goldstone Wood.

Sometimes, however, books influence my novels less directly by first influencing my daydreams- and for the record, my daydreams are somewhat like novels themselves, particularly in that, if I'm interrupted during one, I'll pick up again later where I left off.. My most recent NaNo Novel, Between Two Worlds, was taken largely from one of my favorite daydreams, which has changed somewhat over the last several years, but has remained essentially the same. The main idea- the girl captured and broken by an enemy who then remade her into a tool for that enemy's own use- was largely taken from a combination of The Wingfeather Saga and Heartless. Naturally, exactly how this happens has changed from those stories to my daydream to my novel, but the basic idea remains fairly similar.

Where do you find inspiration? Please tell me in the comments, or feel free to make your own blog post. I'd love to hear about it!
Thanks for reading!
-Sarah (Leilani Sunblade) 


  1. Inspiration! Inspiration everywhere!
    That's pretty much how it is for me. Music, a movie, a book, a picture, a play, or a random thought that simply drops into my head. The slightest thing can set off a hoard of plot bunnies.
    Thing is, they leave as quickly as they come...

    Your Between Two Worlds story sounds interesting. Will we hear more about it?

    1. I definitely know what you mean about ideas leaving quickly. >.< It's so annoying when you have an awesome story idea and then you don't write it down and you totally forget it.

      I posted a few snippets from Between Two Worlds last month, and I also talked about it some back in November. I'll probably post more about it once Camp NaNo is over and I'm back to editing it.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  2. For me inspiration does come a lot from the sources that you mentioned. Songs, books, etc. Also, just random things will set it off. A post on Facebook, something someone said, just a simple word will set the plotbunnies to working! :P Anywhere and everywhere, then, although sometimes it feels like nowhere.

    1. Yeah, inspiration can come from the strangest places . . . Thanks for reading and commenting!

  3. Where *not* to find inspiration?
    "Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don't see any." -Orson Scott Card

    Example: I don't know when I'm going to work on it, but my little brother gave me an idea for a Cinderella retelling.
    We were watching the clip for the new Cinderella movie, and he said something along the lines of, "Meh. It would be better if Jango Fett was in it."
    I said, "Yeah, 'cuz he was hired to break the wand and get Cinderella...out of...the castle. Hehe...bounty hunter and Cinderella..." Voila. Idea. ;)

    Other sources are songs (everything from worship music to epic instrumental), books, pictures, a sermon, and did I mention books? :)
    The ideas that attack me out of "nowhere" usually come from something someone said two hours/days/weeks/months prior. My slow brain suddenly drags up the snippet of conversation/image from the depths, dangles it in front of me and says, "Ooh, look at what I've got." I am (slowly) learning to take those snippets and write them down without diving into the deeper waters. :P

    What's the Underground? (I would search it, but I'm a bit leery about what would come up if I searched "Underground role play"...)

    Your stories all sound so cool! I'm going to be searching through the tags for information about them. :)

    1. I haven't heard that quote before, but I like it. And your Cinderella story sounds cool; definitely something I'd read!

      Ooh, yes, sermons have given me inspiration . . . usually in the "Oh, duh, THAT'S how this character arc should play out" sort of way.

      The Underground is a forum, originally for The Berinfell Prophecies, a trilogy by Wayne Thomas Batson and Christopher Hopper. Sadly, most of the Battle! thread was lost in a hacker attack, but we still exist on another site if you want to check us out. Link:
      You don't have to have read TBP to join; quite a few people have joined without reading it.

      Thank you very much!

    2. *checks out link* Whoa! Where do I go first???? Do you have any recommendations on where to start? (Sorry if I'm bugging you too much about this...)
      I read the rules, and I'm very glad; I'm in a CampNano RP at the moment (Character's Corner), and there are a couple of users whose characters cuss and whatnot. It's tiring.
      The thread is fun (one user's Greek character brought in Shelob, and that wasn't even the craziest thing that's happened :)), but still tiring because of the aforementioned problem. :(

    3. Well, if you're looking for RP threads, Feathered Adventures, Create a Character 2, and Character Conversations and Complaints are the most active. The plots are:
      -Feathered Adventures: A fairly traditional medieval-fantasy story with two main subplots. One involves a group of four traveling minstrels and two other young women, who are currently evading a mysterious earth-monster. The other involves a knight errant, a young lady, a giant wolf, and a rogue who are on a quest.
      -Create a Character 2: A Star Wars roleplay roughly set in the Old Republic era. Various subplots, with more being added whenever someone thinks of them.
      -Character Conversations and Complaints: Essentially a "house" of sorts where users bring their novel characters to chat and do whatever. It has a different format than the others, as you'll probably notice if you read over the thread.
      There's also a superhero battle thread and a thread for Brandon Sanderson's Cosmere, but neither are very active at the moment.
      Ouch. That's why I avoid roleplays on the NaNo sites. >.< That and I never know where to come in. I guess I'm lucky- I've never been in a roleplay where cursing and such is allowed.

  4. I mostly find my inspiration from songs and their lyrics. Of course there are all the other plot bunnies on Pinterest, random conversations, and really wherever I go, but I've gotten most of it from songs--usually Christian songs because I write Christian fantasy and that's all I listen to. xD

    1. Songs are awesome inspiration. :) Thanks for reading and commenting!

  5. I think it's awesome that roleplay is party of your inspiration!

    1. Haha that's suppose to be part instead of party! :)

    2. Thanks. :) It's really not surprising . . . there've been times I've roleplayed more than I wrote.


I'd love to hear your thoughts! But remember: it pays to be polite to dragons.