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Old 10-15-2013, 06:56 PM   #1
Steven Forbes
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B&N Week 147: Where Do You Find Inspiration?

We have another Tuesday before us! What am I doing with this day? Iím asking a simple question:

Where do you get your inspiration?

This is really a two-part question. Iím not just talking about story inspiration, but what inspires you to create, period?

I personally have several sources of inspiration. As a writer, Iím inspired by other stories told well, told in an unusual way, or that have an ending I wasnít expecting. Not a twist, mind you, but just an outcome that isnít telegraphed. [And I donít care what most people think: the ending to The Sixth Sense was telegraphed. The ending to Inception, though, is ambiguous, and it fails because of it.]

As an editor, Iím inspired by good storytelling. My good friend John Lees is telling a story about a boy and his dog. Those stories you hear about editors getting out of the way and letting the creators do their thing? This is how I feel about Johnís story: Iím there to keep him on point, to make sure the emotional content is there, and to make sure he sticks the landing, but for the most part, Iím staying out of his way. How does that inspire me? Because, for me, it speaks to what can be done with the medium.

There are times when thereís no inspiration, though. Or, better said, inspiration is difficult to find. Then you have to look outside of yourself in order to find that spark in order to create.

I was at SDCC one year, attending a Marvel panel. I heard Chris Claremont say that there are times when he has to find inspiration in the mortgage or the light bill. While it was humorous, and possibly true, thereís also something else to realize: as a working professional, he has the luxury of being able to find inspiration in that mortgage or bill. (Luxury, Steven?) Yes, luxury. Heís where we want to be: a working professional, literally living by his wits. Those of us trying to walk that path have to find inspiration elsewhere.

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