I just finished watching Disney‘s Tangled, the story of Rapunzel. It is one of my favorite fairytales, and I even enjoy watching this kid-softened version. Why do I like the story of Rapunzel? Because the story–especially the Disney version–reminds me of my own “coming of age” story.
For years I felt trapped in a tower, though not necessarily against my will. The tower is very symbolic of the way I used my writing as a safer way of “experiencing” life, love, and happiness. I tortured my characters and then wrote them to their redemption, hoping that I could feel even a fraction of their peace and joy through the act.
Then, in my early thirties, I finally experienced the euphoria of freedom once I met my husband and left my tower.
Building a relationship with him was no easy task, because I had a lot of growing up to do even then–I still do. The adventure was fraught with conflicts, challenges, character-builders, and hard lessons, but in the end–like Rapunzel–I found my happy ending and have been happily married for seven years (come September 2013).
When I watch stories like Disney’s Tangled and The Incredibles, the intense emotion and engaging storyline reminds me why I love being a writer.
I Get Inspired
Not only that, it inspires me toward my goal of writing as enthralling a story as what I have just watched. The characters. The conflict. The setting. All of it. I find myself thinking “I want to write that.”
Reading and viewing other stories and characters is such an important aspect of growing as a writer. You see how others weave these incredible tales. You read and feel the action and re-action, your brain learning new aspects of a scene or story. A new character-type. A new way to present a setting, or a new world in general!
Now I find myself in front of my computer doing just that, and all because I experienced someone else’s passion for story and character. It feels as if I have sat in on a storyboard session and participated in a collaborative effort.
I cannot stress enough how many different perspectives there are on life and living. When we don’t have the opportunity to view or hear those, we miss an incredible opportunity to add facets to our characters.
That is one of the most important lessons I am learning during this collaborative effort of expanding To Save A Soul. Who is my partner? The creator of the universe and adventure module upon which this story is based–my husband.
Without his input, I wouldn’t have been able to add 6,000 words in simply the first 50 pages of story. A deeper knowledge of Mun and Para’s histories would lay undiscovered. But through our discussions and his help in outlining my 2012 NaNoWriMo project, Para Sedi, I uncovered a richer character and an extended story. In fact, The Soul Cycle has blossomed into at least 5 books, 2 of which are waiting for their turn at NaNoWriMo.
Seek Inspiration Everywhere
Inspiration comes in the most unlikely of places: movies, books, discussions, memories . . . . Our responsibility is to continue opening doors and windows to let it into our hearts and minds.
Where do you get your inspiration? Where do your richer stories and characters come from?