Monday, June 26, 2017

What's inspiring you?

 
Stephanie here! I had a great weekend up in Chicago for the American Library Association conference. Traveling alone kinda stresses me out, so I was actually surprised by how relaxed I felt most of the time. I had no stress headaches. No times when I was hungry, but too nervous to eat. Just a lot of fun conversations with friendly librarians, editors, authors, and other lovely industry people.

For me, a lot of the fun was being in CHICAGO. I've been dying to go back ever since I started writing The Lost Girl of Astor Street. My first night in town, I was invited along on a dinner cruise to celebrate the upcoming release of Solo by Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess:



Me and fellow Blink author Heather Maclean. I was so relieved to see someone I knew!
On Saturday, I spent some time signing copies of The Lost Girl of Astor Street in the HarperCollins booth. (My line wasn't exactly as long as Veronica Roth's...) I had a meeting with the marketing team, and some great hang out time with other authors.

VERONICA ROTH!! The line was ridiculous, but she was being super nice and taking time with everyone she signed for.

I also got brave, hailed a taxi, and went up to Astor Street! I was a complete dork and took tons of pictures. Some nice ladies who were there for an architectural walking tour helped me out my taking a photo of me so I didn't have to do the selfie thing:





For an introverted homebody, it was a very full weekend. I'm happy to be home!

Today we're continuing our summer panel series where Jill, Shan, and I answer writing-related questions--just as if we're sitting on a panel at a writing conference--and we hope you'll take the time to answer the question as well so we can all learn from each other.


What's something that has inspired you recently?

 


Jill Williamson
I’ve been intrigued lately by self-publishing. I’d really like to self-publish a whole series as an experiment. Don’t get me wrong, I love working with publishing houses, but I’ve found that after three or four years, when my book falls onto the backlist, publishers no longer focus on trying to sell it. So the book gets stuck without any focused sales and marketing attention. If I owned a series of books, I’d be able to play around with sales and marketing continually. That’s no guarantee that books would sell better. And it’s no secret that marketing and publicity is not my favorite activity. So I might discover that I hate that side of self-publishing. But I’m still enthralled by the possibilities, and I think I will be until I give it a try. 



Shannon Dittemore
Other authors. Reading about the journeys of writers I know and those I simply admire from afar is incredibly inspiring. No one has it easy, friends. This is a rough industry with a lot of negativity, but those who can cut through it and keep writing motivate me to do the same.









Stephanie Morrill
Story Genius by Lisa Cron. This is a craft book I learned about on a podcast about 6 months ago. I checked it out from my library, and about halfway through it--when I was wishing I could underline ALL THE THINGS--I ordered a copy for myself. 

This book broke down the story building process in a different way than I had seen before. It made me think differently about character backstories, and how to build effective story lines, and it gave me a process for doing that. 

I don't use every single tool suggested in the book, but her process really helped me with brainstorming my current novel.


What about you? What's something that has inspired you recently?

33 comments:

  1. I think I agree with Mrs. Williamson. Self-publishing just seems so interesting. I've been considering it when the time comes, but I'm keeping my options open. For now, I'm not even near that part yet.

    As for what inspires me, I think other writers. Hearing what they do and how they do it inspires me to push forward with my own work. I've met a lot of wonderful people through my blog that inspire me. Just the encouragement they give is so amazing.

    God bless y'all.

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    1. People who take the time to encourage and/or share their stories is always such a great gift. I love the kindness and helpfulness exhibited in the writer's community. Makes me happy to be a part.

      -Ann

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    2. I agree, Ivie. Self-publishing opens up a lot of options for creativity. There's a lot of responsibility involved too, of course, but it can be a very fun undertaking.

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  2. I've really been inspired lately by writing prompts. It gives me a chance to write a short scene, and really focus on one specific area of my writing at a time. It also stretches my imagination muscles and lets me try out different writing techniques before I commit with a novel.

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    1. I love experimenting with new techniques too! Great way to add an extra dose of fun to a writing session.

      -Ann

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  3. Reading.

    David and Goliath and the story of Gideon especially inspire me right now as both have helped me to figure out my book's theme and message.

    -Ann

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  4. I've been inspired by the Moulin Rouge soundtrack :-) (No lie--it was mainly responsible for getting me through the climax of my novel.)

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    1. YYYEEEEESSSSSSS!!! Brilliant soundtrack.

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  5. Um... Does Camp Nano count? I'm trying to write 50,000 words this month, and it's my first time trying for something above 30,000. It's kind of scary.

    If that doesn't count, than maybe just various classic books. I'm rereading the Narnia series right now.

    ~Mila

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    1. Of course it counts! We don't believe in setting rules for what's acceptable inspiration and what isn't :)

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  7. I've been inspired by all my friends since they are always there for me. Also looking at a picture of my happy place has also inspired me since I always get ideas there but since I'm home on summer break a picture of it will have to do.

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    1. I understand that. When I lived in Florida and was super homesick for Kansas City, all my books took place in KC so that I could vicariously spend time there. Writing is great for that!

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  8. I guess I've been inspired by reading other novels that are important to me. I recently read "Since You've Been Gone" by Morgan Matson, and her writing encouraged me to try writing in the first person.
    Also, I've been inspired by my family and friends. They provide me with humorous anecdotes and lines for my WIP and also their personalities help to better develop my characters.

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    1. Having a diverse group of people in your life is so helpful to character development!

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  9. I'm normally pretty "in the mood" to write, but recently, I've been very motivated by getting to spend some time with one of the gals in my writing group that lives in a different state! And not to mention Camp NaNo!! I'm taking a break from editing my WIP to do some first drafting on another book.

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    1. Julian, time with writing friends can feel SO inspiring! I'm glad you've had that opportunity recently.

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  10. I love playing with philosophical (that I know of) and cultural ideas in history to shape my stories, while simultaneously relating them to Biblical and current-day issues. Seriously, just flicking on the news or a documentary and seeing the madness of the entire world and history can cause me to isolate a few key issues and put one of my characters in turmoil.
    Of course, there's also music, books, movies, other writers, art, and nature. The world world's an inspirational potluck! :p

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    1. Grr... I meant the "whole world's an inspirational potluck."

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    2. Isn't it, though? I feel like inspiration is everywhere once you start looking for it.

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  11. The thing that inspires me is one word. Life. I'm the kind of person who likes to observe the world around her. I mostly observe how people react to different situations. It helps to fill my books with emotion.
    -Emily D

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    1. That was beautiful. Life can be inspiring. God uses it to shape us into who we are and who we are becoming.
      God bless you!

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    2. I agree. God uses everything in our lives to make better people, the people God planed us to be. Nothing in our lives happens that God doesn't know about.
      -Emily

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  12. I've been kind of inspired lately, which is saying something. The other day, I got together with my friend's mom who is a writer. We're both going to attempt Camp NaNoWriMo this July. It was really fun hanging out and talking about our writing projects! We were able to give each other advice and encouragement. I've never really had a writing partner/mentor like this, so I'm really excited about it!!

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    1. That's super exciting, Talia! Having people in your life who understand what writing means to you is huge! Good luck with Camp NaNo!

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  13. Stephanie, that sounds such a fun time! Jill, that sounds like a great idea to try just to see if you like it or not.

    I was recently in a book launch party where a different author was guest posting about her book and trafficking in general. Even though my WIP is not exactly like Megan Whitson Lee's "Suburban Dangers," learning about this novel has encouraged me to keep writing what I am writing.

    teensliveforjesus.blogspot.com

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  14. My writing group usually inspires me. Life events also motivate me to write, especially when something is pressing on my heart.

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    1. That's where the best stories come from!

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  15. I think the other thing I am inspired from, now that I think about it, is all the books that I didn't like. I want to do better and write a book I want to read.
    Also the Rebellious Writing Movement is awesome in talking about that.

    iviewrites.blogspot.com

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