When I’m writing and come up with something that makes a scene shine and feels unique, I like to think it came from thin air, from a muse or some magical well of inspiration. But often--much like with dreams--I discover the real source of the inspiration is something much closer to home.
Last week, I wrote a scene where the only thing left in the fridge for breakfast was hotdogs. Personally, I hate hotdogs and the thought of chopping uncooked hotdogs into a bowl, covering them with milk and eating them like cereal is disgusting.
However when I finished the scene I was hungry, so I headed downstairs to make my breakfast. And, to my disgust and surprise, there was my husband standing by the fridge with a raw hotdog hanging out of his mouth like a cigar. I’d probably seen him do this a million times and shoved the image to the back of my mind—until my main character opened that nearly empty fridge and reached for her breakfast.
Then came the spiders.
I have a scene in my WIP where a not so human character is laying on her four-poster bed watching spiders spin a canopy over it. Creepy and perfect, I thought as I turned off my computer and headed for my four-poster bed . . . Yeah, you guessed it.
Last winter, I had a spider invasion that I had totally forgotten about. Every night when I went to bed, I’d look up and there’d be a couple of them glaring down at me from the ceiling. And it seemed last winter’s invasion had started again. While I was writing, my mind had registered a new web stretching from my headboard to the ceiling.
What about you? How often do you discover that your creative ideas have a basis in reality, even if you’ve temporarily blocked it from your mind?
For extra credit or if you’re simply curious about why spiders are inside your house, check this out.