Inspiring Distractions and Distracting Inspirations

Previous blog entries have expounded upon the various influences and inspirations behind my writing style and the distractions and digressions that have resulted due to the aforementioned influences and inspirations. This week’s blog will expound (once again) on those two topics for the sheer reason that they are the source of the motivation and frustration with which I contend when embarking on this strange and awesome path that is called novel-writing. In fact, they are both enable and abet each other, forming a very interesting circle of life (as it were) when creating plots, characters and story arcs.

Inspirations for my characters, novel plots and narrative arcs come from various places, from the [mainly British] television I’ve watched (either via PBS or, more often that not, YouTube), musicals and plays I’ve seen, to video games and bits of conversations overheard at random places. These sources of inspiration can also be distractions from the writing process, as I sometimes become engrossed in various TV series or intensely focused on the RPGs on my Nintendo 3DS XL; of course, with my attention fixated on these distractions, they soon become inspirations, with the potential to dig myself out of the plot holes I tend to create, thus perpetuating the distractions/inspirations cycle.

With all the seemingly infinite possible paths my stories can take, whether it be on a micro level  (within a single novel) or a macro level (throughout a series or over the course of the saga), ideas and themes tend to appear like (plot) bunnies, with some discarded after a period of time, and others going the distance and embed  themselves so far into the narrative, that removal is impossible.  As an unwritten rule (yet never really applied) when handling these new plot bunnies, and other ideas from my various muses (or reviewing returning ideas and such), they are given quasi-free reign to showcase their contribution(s) and  wait to see if they are compatible (or at least usable) with the existing structure. If  said contribution is deemed incompatible or unusable, it gets filed away to the Realm of Discarded Ideas and Lost Characters, with the hope to be rediscovered in the near future.

Of course, much of the aforementioned talk (or rather text) can be the launchpad potential meta-story about my writing process, with the Muses, plot bunnies, and such as my merry band of characters – trust me, it’s on the (long) list of “stories I need to write after I finish (or at least start) writing the MASC Chronicles. A further (albeit probably quasi-mad) challenge would be to have all of these potential stories occur within the same (fictional and most definitely alternate) universe – One Universe to Bind Them All…

Anyway.

Distractions and inspirations, inspirations and distractions – in the end, they’re two sides of the same coin; one does not (or at least probably cannot) exist without the other. Or at least for this writer, they don’t and can’t and probably won’t; though which of the two is the “light side” and which is the “dark side” remains to be seen (or written).

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6 thoughts on “Inspiring Distractions and Distracting Inspirations

  1. Sometimes, I feel so UTTERLY ignorant when I read your blogs. I think I need to be awake for at least four hours and have at least one full cup of coffee to really be able to understand/appreciate them.
    I am not quite there yet today, which makes me glad I read this one a few days ago. haha

    Speaking of British television . . . have you watched Broadchurch? My husband has been wanting to watch it, but I haven’t spoken to anyone that’s actually seen it . . .

    I know that is completely (or slightly?) beside the point of this entire thing. I was just curious!

  2. LOL – I tend to ramble a bit sometimes…

    Haven’t watched Broadchurch [yet] – sadly I do not have BBC America (shocking, I know, hence my reliance on the wonders of YouTube), but I do hear it’s fantastic. Shockingly, I have not watch a single moment of Dowton Abbey so far.

    It’s not that I don’t have an interest in seeing either of the aforementioned series – I mean both have a plethora of fine British actors inhabiting complex characters in a expertly written story arc, which is both a good thing and a not-so-good thing for the kind of writer I am (or have become).

    These series are relevant to the point of this post, as I would be distracted from my plotting/writing to watch the series, but then become inspired to incorporate elements within the series into my own series, which might distract me from the original direction my stories were going before the distraction/inspiration.

    Wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey.

    • Me too. 😀

      I’ve never watched Downton Abbey either. I’ve seen the previews for it, of course, on commercials.
      Husband and I watch a lot of Top Gear (though I’ll admit that’s his preference and not mine, regardless of enjoying it on most occasions). One series I’ve REALLY wanted to watch is Sherlock. I’ve been a bit Benedict Cumberbatch obsessed after watching the new Star Trek, and I’ve heard the show is amazing.
      I’ll have to watch it at some point.

      They really can be a distraction sometimes, but sometimes a distraction can be a good thing (but then it gets to be TOO MUCH of a good thing, I suppose).

  3. Wait, you haven’t watched Sherlock? It’s a fantastic modern adaptation of the Conan Doyle stories, well scripted and acted (but then again this series is the brainchild of Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, so that goes without say). Benedict Cumberbatch is quite possibly the new “It” actor – he’s in so many upcoming films, including the second part of the Hobbit trilogy (as Smaug) with his Sherlock co-star Martin Freeman. The Sherlock fandom is a quasi-insane (in the best sort of way) one, as there have been extraordinary gaps between series (and there are only three episodes per series).

    Yeah these distractions are… well distracting, but they can also be inspiring, though sometimes chaotic, as these new inspirations/distractions have the potential to disrupt the established narrative flow and bring about anarchy…

    And thus is born a new series/saga.

    Oops. Oh well – another one to add to the list.

    • I unfortunately have NOT seen it. Mostly due to not having the money to shell out for Blu-rays (I love them, I have issues). It will happen at some point. One of my best friends is a big fan of the show, and she insisted I needed to watch it before watching Star Trek: Into Darkness to really appreciate Benedict Cumberbatch’s acting ability. It didn’t work out that way.
      It will happen!

      How many series do you currently have in the works?

      • Ah, I see, but don’t you know that almost all TV shows can be found on YouTube? That’s how I’ve mainly been able to see a lot of the British mystery series, since there is the 4-6 months (or more) lag between air dates in the UK vs. the US. Benedict Cumberbatch is everywhere these days (I think he’s in about half a dozen films that are coming out this Fall/Winter)

        At the moment, I have three series in the works that all fall within the same universe – they’re actually three parts of that Epic Saga that I have since entitled the MASC Chronicles; within each series there are a number of books that will be quasi-sequential). In other words, it’s one really, really long story broken up into smaller portions, with side stories and such, kind of like Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” saga (not that I would ever compare my writings to his – I would be lucky if any of my stories are even a smidgen as good as those stories).

        The rest are just random musings that come and go, though it would be fun to write a mini-series about those ethereal muses and plot bunnies that reside in that mysterious place that is the human imagination.

        Crap – now I want to work on that series too…

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