Sunday, August 8, 2010

My Path to Inspiration

By Michelle Gwynn Jones

Whenever I tell someone that I am a writer their first question is always “What do you write?” I can see the look of confusion on their face, or horror in their eyes, as I tell them about my novel and the sequels. “Where did you get that idea?” is almost always their next question.

Some people find their inspiration in a country song, either the lyrics or the title. Others find their stories embedded in historical events and create a fictional character who was there. There are those who design the coolest spaceships known to mankind and unfold their stories in its travels.

I looked over the outlines I developed for the sequels to my novel, Daniel’s Law, and tried to remember exactly what I was doing at the time I thought of the story. I have never been able to point to anything so definite. What was the catalyst to its development? Nothing comes to mind. There were no great moments of epiphany while watching the news, attending a conference or getting a manicure which I can point to.

I do, however, remember the questions I asked myself that led to the storylines: Can citizenship be forced upon someone? How far is too far undercover? If murderers can’t inherit, can their children? Once I asked myself the original question I felt compelled to seek out an answer, sometimes with a quick Google, other times with weeks of devoted researching. It was not until I had an answers to my question that I realized this could be a story. There is always some subtlety in the law, some nuance in its interpretation, which lends it to a mystery.

While I have no idea what inspired my original inquiry I know that by the time I decided it could be a story it was well thought out.


Deborah Lawrenson said...

Ha ha! (more an exclamation of recognition than a laugh) I've just written a blog post about exactly this question!

Found you on the SheWrites intro ball - and very glad I did.

Diane said...

I find inspiration in the newspaper. I have taken a very short article out of our local paper and turned it into a full lenght novel.