From the day my mom dropped me on my head she knew I was going to be special. One morning while I was flossing my teeth in the shower, I decided to prove her right. What could possibly be more special than writing a novel? Easier said than done, though, right?
A question many of us ask ourselves at some point is: How does one write a novel? What could possibly inspire someone to fill three-hundred pages of high-quality cotton-bonded paper with words about make-believe stuff like on Mr. Rogers Neighborhood?
People often ask me, “How in the world do you think this stuff up? Are you even human?”
The answer is: Yes. I am mostly human. But what inspires me? What dark well of traumatic childhood experiences dwells so deeply in my soul that it causes me to write about a mega nerd and hopeless romantic who finds out he has sexual super powers as in Sweet Blood of Mine?
I decided to barbeque some spaghetti and think about that for a while because I’m not really sure where my inspiration comes from. Are any of us? And then I stumbled upon an amazing discovery. No matter what novel you’re talking about, all inspiration comes from one of four basic ingredients. I give you THE FOUR ELEMENTS OF INSPIRATION! (In your mind you should imagine a deep booming male voice saying this with an echo sound effect. Don’t read further until you get it right!)
The elements are:
You might scratch your head and stare quizzically at this list for hours wondering when you’ve ever read a book inspired by any of these.
“Ninjas, pirates, dinosaurs and aliens??" you ask. "What about Twilight?”
Answer: Vampires are ninjas who suck blood. Werewolves are ninjas who can turn into animals to stalk their prey. So Stephenie Meyer wrote an entire series about ninjas. Cool, huh?
“Okay, yeah right,” you might say. Explain Harry Potter then.”
Aliens! You see, aliens can make all sorts of weird things happen with their minds and they use laser guns. Harry Potter and all the wizards and witches were basically aliens with wand-shaped laser guns.
Red-faced and cursing loudly, you might next ask, “And Eragon?!”
Duh. Dinosaurs. Seriously, do you even have to ask why?
“Aha! Ah, ha, ha, ha!” you exclaim. “You’ll never get this one. Hunger Games.”
At this point I would polish my fingernails on my shirt and scoff at you. Pirates, of course. Only pirates would capture people and make them fight gladiator style battles. Their ships were the hovercraft.
So the next time you’re reading a good novel and wondering how the author came up with their crazy ideas, all you need to do is reference this article. See if you can figure out which of the Four Elements of Inspiration gave birth to my novel, Sweet Blood of Mine and maybe I’ll share some of my barbequed spaghetti with you!