The Siren’s Song, the blog for Sirens Call Publications, published a guest post by O. M. Grey today for their Horror of Steampunk series. Olivia discusses where her inspiration comes from, especially for “Love is for the Living,” the short story in Sirens Call’s anthology Bellows of the Bone Box.
Inspiration for stories sometimes comes from the strangest places. A dream. A conversation. A relationship. A fleeting thought. Writing prompts. An image. A movie scene or snippet of dialogue. Historical events. Surviving trauma. A broken heart. Betrayal. I’ve written stories that have come from all of these and more.
Inspiration for a story is definitely the first step. Ideas. I’ve come across so many emerging authors who are terrified people will steal their ideas.
Ideas are a dime a million.
Creating something with those ideas is where the real work, and some say talent, comes in. At a Steampunk convention on the Queen Mary, we did a writer-in-the-round exercise where the moderator gave us a basic plot or beginning sentence, and we had to take it from there for three minutes. At the end of each writer’s turn, the next writer had to pick up where the last left off. It was a fascinating exercise, as each writer took the story in an entirely different direction and with a different style and voice than I would have. The discussion afterward proved that each author felt the same way.
Ideas, that spark of inspiration, are the first step, but a step does not a journey make.