What are ways you find inspiration for your stories?


Music, movies and other stories are usually my inspiration. Either that or boredom at work. I’m currently working at a rather brainless, minimum wage job as I wait for an opening in my career of choice. I spend a lot of time tuning out the mundane surroundings and imagining stories or how to take something I love and reworking it into a new story. My current fic, “Hearts Keeping Time”, is greatly inspired by “Almost Famous” which is one of my all-time favorite movies. I don’t know if there is ‘divine inspiration’, I believe everything stems from somewhere, and for me it’s usually books or movies, and sometimes music.


Music. Books. Movies. I write a lot about personal experiences, either my own or those of the people I know best. Third Eye Blind and Joni Mitchell…I think every fic idea I have stems from a Joni song. Also, tumblr. The pictures and comments on social networking sites inspire stories in my head all the time.


I don’t have any trouble finding plot bunnies, they find me by the dozens, and it’s just deciding which ones I want to make the effort to pursue. Usually, it’s just letting the characters I see in my mind speak to me.


This is hard for me to pinpoint. Generally, one line will come to my mind–a line of dialogue, a description of a scene–and I just sit down in front of the computer and see where that takes me. Eventually, characters will start to develop and they will tell me what story they want to tell. It is only then that I start to sketch out some sort of plot in my mind. That plot, though, might evolve and change as the characters come more fully to life.

Recently, I have been given story ideas by others (mainly, those who “purchased” me in charity auctions). I find that discussing these ideas, brainstorming with creative minds, is a good launching pad for the story. But for me, it still comes down to the characters. The characters come first in my head, then their story.

Rarely, I will see someone who seems to have a story to tell and I will make one up for them. That said, I am not generally a visual prompt sort of person. Pictures are great to look at and may put me in a certain mood, but they don’t in themselves inspire words to pour out of me. I appreciate the visual arts more than most, but they’re in a completely separate compartment in my brain.


My story is about a very young, teenage Bella. I draw from my own experiences at that age. It’s easier to write about things I’ve actually experienced before.


Most of my ideas pop into my head when I’m not thinking of anything – like when I”m in my shower or the car. My mind is empty, or I’m singing along to some song on the radio, and this idea will just pop into my head.


Anywhere really. I seem to think of things randomly and wonder if they’d work in a story. Inspiration shows up at any time.

Obsessing Over Edward

Personal experiences, movies, music and dialog with friends. My first story (LOTK) was a crossover fic of Twilight and Pretty Woman, so I guess you can say that in that instance, my inspiration came from the movie since it’s similar in storyline. When we did the Movie Crossover Contest, I had lots of fun playing with Disney’s ideas and some other popular TV shows and movies as well.
When I wrote HOFY, I took a few personal experiences and mixed them in with the Twilight character. It’s always easier to write what you know.

However, I think my biggest inspiration comes from talking with my friends about story ideas. I have a few close friends that I talk to about upcoming chapters, new story ideas and things we’ve recently read. Sometimes, in our dialog, a story idea comes along and we hash it out in detail. Muggleinlove and I have talked out a collaborative fic that’s 30 chapters and the outline alone is 15K words. I’m not sure if we’ll ever write it (the first chapter’s complete), but it was a ton of fun just coming up with ideas and talking about it. Sometimes, one idea spins off into a whole new story.

I don’t go looking for story ideas, I just take advantage of them when they hit and make sure I keep my eyes open and observe what’s going on around me. There’s a story in everything you see. If you’re hurting for ideas, have a friend or an author you know give you a prompt and you’d be surprised at how quickly a story will come out of one little sentence (Molto Bella).


This will surprise nobody who reads my stories, but music, for sure. Even though I never mention it in the story, the song “The Minnow and the Trout”, (a song about people or animals with nothing in common finding a deep connection) by A Fine Frenzy inspired both of my one-shots. And Canzone, of course, is about musicians, and I use a lot of my experience as a musician and also I always write while listening to music. It makes a huge difference.

rochelle allison

Sometimes memories. Sometimes prompts (like Fictionista Workshop). Sometimes photos (like weheartit).

scarlett letters

Music, poetry, real life experiences of mine or others. Pretty much anything my imagination can make up.


I walk and listen to music and daydream. That’s essential, whether the daydreaming has anything to do with Twilight or not. It’s where all my writing ideas come through. It’s like the first test for a story: if it’s a worthwhile daydream, it might be a good story.


I pull tidbits from life, mine and other people’s. Music inspires me. A song will make me react emotionally and I get the impulse to “write that feeling”. Often stories will grow out of a feeling like that.

Tallulah Belle

“It can be from anywhere, but daydreaming has been my best way of thinking about the story(ies) that I am writing.

I also play the “”What if”” game with myself. I take a character or setting or a part of the subject matter of what I am writing and I ask myself questions about it.


Question: Why is Character A in this location?

Answer: Character A is there because of this circumstance.
This is a very basic example, but giving yourself time to think and ask yourself these questions can help plot your story. You get to the heart of the matter.


I get a lot of inspiration from listening to music but sometimes random ideas just pop into my head.


2 comments on “What are ways you find inspiration for your stories?

  1. Music or a prompt is always an obvious source for ideas. There’s also personal experience, to which my dad will just shrug, look at me, and say “It’s a good idea for a story.”

  2. There are two, and maybe three, distinct types of inspiration I need in order to write.

    The first is the easiest to find: I need inspiration for my words. In this context, for me, reading is the whetstone of good writing. The more I immerse myself in the subtle intricacies of the works of the best writers, the better my own prose (and, rarely, poetry) become, similar to the way I always play a better game of tennis after watching a match on television.

    The second is both more diffuse and more ephemeral: I need inspiration for my plot What makes me think, this happened then this happened and then this happened? Here, it can be a sight or sound, a smell or a phrase. A lot of the time, it is the state of my emotions, and my inability to deal with them directly. So I deflect my feelings onto my characters and make them suffer in my stead.

    The third is the most elusive: I need inspiration to sit down and write. While it’s a simple matter for me to post a thoughtful review of someone else’s story, or rumble and grumble in my journal, it’s another matter, altogether, to find the motivation to create (or discover) characters who inhabit a plausible parallel universe that I construct and describe, making decisions or remaining inert on the sidelines while their lives unfold, all at my behest.

    I have yet to find a reliable source for this last type of inspiration. Any suggestions?

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