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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Sparkfest #2 - Inspiration is Weird

Yesterday, as part of Sparkfest, I posted about how Angela Carter sparked my desire to be a writer.
Today, I'm going to tell you what sparked the idea for my current (currently in revision hell) wip.

It's really the fault of Jasper Fforde, Jane Austen, Harriet Walter and the Garden State Parkway.





If you haven't read anything by Jasper Fforde, I feel bad for you. Go out and remedy that at once. Start with the Eyre Affair. One of the premise of Fforde's books is that book characters are real. Sure, they live in another universe (books) but that doesn't make them unreal. I love these books and I guess the idea of real and unreal has been percolating in my mind for a while. (PS, his books are damn funny. My wip is short on larfs.)

So, I was driving on the Garden State Parkway to visit my mom in law and I started thinking about Harriet Walter, what an awesome actress she is and how she's often cast in period dramas as hard, unlikable characters. Fanny Dashwood came to mind. Evil character that she is, she gets her garters crossed good and proper at the end of Sense and Sensibility. Edward marries Elenor despite her machinations. She probably feels that she's the victim in the story, that she's been treated badly.

And then it happened. I imagined a regency era Fanny walking over a grassy knoll up to a gate. A teenaged boy was by the gate and he opened it for her. She starts talking to him about how important she really is, how he should respect his betters. He laughs and leads her to the door of his farm house. Behind the farmhouse is a great big recycling factory. He just keeps leading her, gently, into the farmhouse. He shuts the door and says, "They all think they're real!"

That's it, the seed of an idea. As I played with that scene in my head, sometimes it was Willoughby being high and mighty. But the teenaged kid, he thought it was funny because he knew that they were all only characters in books.

Talk about a spark. I don't know how that little daydream turned into a 300 page conflagration, but it did.



How did your wip get it's spark?

15 comments:

  1. Hey - I'm a fellow campaigner and new follower, just stopping by to say hey :)

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  2. Jane Austen did a lot to advance the rights of women.

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  3. It is lovely how creativity gets sparked by unrelated things!

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  4. I love stories like this. It really is true that our ideas so often come out of nothing. We just have to nudge an idea into a plot :)

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  5. I love Jane. I have Fforde in my TBR pile. Can't wait to get to it.

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  6. I love Jasper Fforde! The Thursday Next books are hilarious, and I really, really want a dodo.

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  7. Oh, revision hell... So much fun, no? Lol... That is so neat how the different elements came together to inspire you. Good luck with those revisions!

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  8. OOOoooh, that was all yummilicious stuff. Austen, Fforde, grass- great combo!
    My inspirations are almost always the same way. Some strange things coming together into something so brilliantly my own.
    Thanks for the share!

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  9. Holy cow, what an cool premise for a book! I hope I get to read it some time. I've never heard of Jasper Fforde, but I'll have to check him out. Nice to meet you from Sparkfest and the Campaign :)

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  10. Absolutely fantastic blog!!! Glad I found it! Love it!!!

    Lola x
    http://lola-x.blogspot.com

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  11. Hello, Campaign groupie!
    What a funny combination of things. I love how they all meshed together. I got my WIP idea while lifeguarding at summer camp, which is hilarious to me since it has absolutely nothing to do with lifeguarding at summer camp. :)

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  12. Hey fellow campaigner! I'm a new follower. Inspiration is definitely weird, I pull threads from everywhere too. Great post.

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  13. Haha! This made me laugh out loud. Awesome combination of random bits to bring together a story. Sounds like your book is a lot of fun!

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  14. I've done that! I get ideas while driving (I still have one unwritten sparked by a sign) and also while taking showers. :-)

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