Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Where Do Ideas Come From?

Recently, I was asked this question.

What better source of writing material than observing life’s vibrant cycles? Children are a great source of undiluted behavioral material.

When my son was four years old, he said something that floored me and prompted me to write something around his unforgettable words. Strapped in his car seat on the way home, after I dropped off my then six year old daughter at school, he said in his limited vocabulary:

I remember when I was big, and I crossed the street and a car hit me.  I turned into a butterfly and flew up in the sky.

Where did that come from? To this day, I have no idea. It could have been a TV cartoon show or a story book that prompted that image in his head, though I am aware of none. If I believed in reincarnation, I could have found a place for his words in my mind, could have accepted them and filed them as old soul memories. But I don’t have that belief, and I don’t subscribe to that school of thought. Hence, if I Believed in Reincarnation short piece found a place on paper, and eventually on my blog.

Dreams are another source of inspiration for me. I tend to remember many details about my dreams, and though bizarre like every dream there is, they filter through to my writing. I like to think they add flavor, seasoning, to the details of a story. In my book Shadows of Damascus, I included a couple of dreams I had before I started writing the book. I used one for the female character, Yasmeen, with slight variations, and another for the male character, Adam. Both fit nicely in the plot and I think both deepened the characters.

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