Finding Inspiration as a Writer

As a historical fantasy author, I find inspiration in so many places. Whether it’s TV shows, other books, or my favorite games, I ingest as many stories and inhabit as many worlds as I can to inspire my own stories and worlds.

The most common inspiration for me is television. I often find myself thinking, My story is a cross between this franchise and that franchise… For example, I’m currently working on a fantasy in a Norse-inspired world, and I like to say it’s The Witcher meets God of War (2018).

But wait–God of War is a video game! (So is The Witcher, for that matter, in addition to being a series of fantasy books and a Netflix series.) Games are another source of inspiration for me. I’ve enjoyed playing video games for well over a decade now, and role-playing games–that is, games where you inhabit another world as a character–are my favorites.

Speaking of my Norse fantasy, I find inspiration in the Norse-inspired game Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, the Viking fantasy world of God of War (2018), and the historical Viking landscapes of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. It’s fun to see how these different takes on the Viking world feature such unique characters, creatures, and countrysides. I hope to write in a style that’s all my own, while still drawing inspiration from these games.

I also enjoy reading books similar to the type I want to write. No book is exactly similar to my own, but it’s fun to read the same genre and get a feel for common tropes. And one of my tricks for getting in the mood to write is reading a book with great prose–it makes me want to write such beautiful prose, too.

Finally, I need time to daydream to truly create my characters and their world. One of my favorite times to do this is on walks. I take a walk with my son in his stroller almost every day, usually listening to an audiobook. But as I listen, my mind begins to wander. Something about physically moving and listening to a story that inspires me helps launch my creativity. Soon, I’m pausing the audiobook to brainstorm plot twists, side characters, and lore for my fantasy worlds.

Some say every story has been told before, and to an extent, I believe that’s true. One of the tricky things about inspiration is that it’s easy to mimic it too closely. But by finding many sources of inspiration, I am able to be unique in my own writing. I believe the key to finding your voice as a writer is 1.) knowing the type of story you want to write, and then 2.) not being afraid to remix all the many ingredients that inspire you, in a recipe that is all your own.

💜 Ashley

One thought on “Finding Inspiration as a Writer

  1. Ashley, your approach to finding inspiration is truly fascinating! Drawing from various sources like TV shows, books, and games allows you to create a unique blend of ideas and concepts in your writing. It’s wonderful how you infuse different elements to shape your own style while still honoring the genres that inspire you. Your ability to daydream and let your imagination wander during walks is a beautiful way to nurture creativity. Keep embracing the power of your diverse influences and continue crafting your own captivating stories. Best of luck on your writing journey!

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