What's behind a story?
Everything you are, that you know, and intrigues,
combine, helping to tell a story.
Questions to ponder prior to writing.
What stirs your heart?
Why does it stir that 'something' inside you?
What would you like to see more of in the world?
How can you transform what you know in a different way?
What has hurt you?
What has made you want to sing?
What are your dreams?
What are your weaknesses/strengths?
How did you emotionally grow/transform into who you are now?
What battles still fight silently inside?
What displeases you? Why?
What music do you listen to? Is it at certain times?
Get those juices flowing. Jot a few lines down, pause on the answers. Different feelings will stir - write those down, too. When we begin to understand ourselves and our reactions to situations/people, we can draw on this knowledge while writing.
Put yourself in someone else's shoes. What do you think makes them act/say things a certain way? Especially, the things you don't understand. Imagine the reason behind it and create a character, a sort of fuzzy template that you, as a writer, are going to define.
Analyze your environment. Observe the wind, how it bites or gently caresses your face, depending on the time of year/where you are. What can you smell? Fumes of a big city? Damp soil/freshly cut grass? Strong floral perfume? Woody aftershave? Try to use all your senses. Most often, we get accustomed to our surroundings and have to remember to look at things as if it were our first time. It's quite astonishing what we take for granted on a day-to-day basis, like smells.
Study the movement of people in different environments: on the underground, bus, park, high street, pub, cafe, club. Strangers/lovers/friendships. What does their body language say about them? When they talk, how do they move? When you've had an argument, how did you move? Did the other person mirror you? This processing will help with the small descriptive passages in dialogue.
They say 'write what you know'. If you have a passion, a hobby, an interest that ignites the soul, or possibly something that frightens you - develop these in a character. It's incredible what inspiration derives from a simple starting point. Characters will start to come alive, letting you know where they want to go and the magic begins.
Reality or Fantasy Setting?
My imagination always keeps me mentally active. Okay, mainly researching/daydreaming. For as long as I can remember, I'd cross reference myths/folklore. It was important to create a story with a touch of ancient mystery in a modern day setting, something I could believe. So, I blended both worlds. I wasn't sure how much of each would mingle, wanting nothing overly dramatic, but not too 'normal' either. With my brain all fired up, using the old to create something new, that felt true to me, I set to work. Yup! A feel thing, quite difficult to explain. It's a strange natural buzz. A surging flow of energy that excites - all stemming from one source. A quiet tide becomes a raging storm of ideas emerging from the original spark, and in an instant, you just know it's right for you. A belief in that magical connection, that only a creative muse brings.
Whatever inspires that magical surge in you - follow.
Scribble down, what may at first seem trivial bits of info. One or more of those ideas, at some point, will take hold and grow. Sparking something inside, refusing to be ignored. Before you know it, a story and characters will appear, and you'll have started your journey in the blink of an eye. :o)
Love and light,