Thursday, April 25, 2013

Thursday's Children: Inspired by Life's Little Annoyances

Inspiration doesn't always come from the big things, the earth-shattering and pivotal events, the important themes that underlie the movie of our life.

In between the major turning points, life is full of little annoyances, sand that clogs up the gears of your day. A broken-down car in the middle of a big city on a Saturday afternoon. Standing in line at the airport security gate, winding back and forth like you're waiting to get on a Disney ride. A stupid argument with your significant other.

Those trivial events can be a source of inspiration. That is the writer's secret strength: everything is fodder for the pen. Even while experiencing the problem, you can detach and observe. Sometimes a whole project can be ignited by an experience; other times they can shape scenes or dialogue. A couple of our screenplays were inspired by the most mundane events. But one thought leads to another...

I find it comforting to think, Oh, I can use this. Spin dross into gold. Turn setbacks, irritations, and b.s. into theater. Cause no matter what, I'd rather be writing.

How about you? Have you been inspired by life's little pains?

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13 comments:

rhiannwynnnolet.com said...

Ha! That's all very true. My most "realistic" book starts off with the MC's irritation at discovering there's no toilet paper, after she's already, well, you know...

Liz Penney said...

Good one! We can all relate!

Rachel said...

I think life's little upsets inspire me plenty, especially dealing with irritating personalities. They offer so much fodder. Not only to be used as an irritating character, but then I sit and wonder why they are the way they are. I think about their own back story and before I know it, I've come up with not only an irritating character, but a plot thread, too!

Joan Reginaldo said...

THIS! Elizabeth, this is my thang, girl!

Also, so many tense moments have been diffused by my finger (the forefinger, not the middle) asking for a moment while I grab my phone or a pen and jot down a note.

I am firmly in your camp about everything being pen fodder. It is. It's also why I poo-poo the whole "do X or write" dilemma. X always leads to writing.

Marvelous post.

Jennifer Lobeth said...

Great Post! Thanks for sharing! Ha! Good one!

Mia Celeste said...

Excellent point. Excellent post. I'm with you. Right now little annoyances are grist for my current wip too. Thanks.

Liz Penney said...

Thanks, all! Love getting comments. :)

Dannie Morin said...

I needed to read this this week. Great post, Liz!

~Dannie @ Left to Write

Alana Terry said...

Just a good point. I never stopped to think about it, but when I get annoyed I do often stop and think, "something like this should happen to my protagonist." Maybe my way at getting back at karma??

Kate Frost said...

It is a great and positive thing to turn annoyance into creativity. I think a lot of my pet peeves end up in my fiction...

Karen lee Hallam said...

Oh, yes! I need to get better jotting this stuff down in my diary. Thank SO much for the reminder.

Chris Allen-Riley said...

Whenever I tell a dear friend about whatever happens to be going on in my life, she always says, "Remember, everything's material." She hasn't been wrong, yet. :)

Qing Cai said...
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