Monday, March 24, 2008

Words as Inspiration

I got this from's word of the day:

Blandiloquent (adjective)
Pronunciation: [blæn-'di-lê-qwênt]
Definition: Smooth-talking, honey-tongued; flattering.

Every once and a while I'm inspired to write as story based on a word. I used to have a "Forgotten English" word-of-the-day calendar for my desk. On that calendar, I came across the word "tutivillus," who is defined as the demon who is in charge of taking words mangled during the performance of Mass (say by a priest who'd been double dipping in the holy wine) and whisk them off to hell. I ended up writing a short story (that appears in New Wyrd, actually) about what exactly hell needed with all those mangled words.

So perhaps one of you will be inspired by "blandiloquent." What's the stangest thing that ever inspired you to write a short story or start a novel?


Tim Susman said...

I think the inspiration for all my novels and short stories has been rather strange.

"Common and Precious" started with a single image, of a tiger standing in a penthouse overlooking the snowy landscape of New Tibet (arctic industrial colony) and thinking that there was no place he would rather be because here he held vast amounts of power over the lives of the people below him. I wrote a little soliloquy which never made it into the novel.

I've had a couple stories inspired by dreams, but the most vivid inspirations are those images that come out of nowhere, where the characters seem to be already fully formed and just waiting for you to write their story. Why my mind creates them, I have no idea...

Anonymous said...

I built my current series on an addiction to trippy giant robot anime and the Dresden Files.

It's since taken on a life of its own and shown me a side of myself I hadn't embraced. And now all the things I write keep going in a Trippy Horror direction. :D

lydamorehouse said...

Tim, Maureen McHugh also talks about sometimes starting with a single image like you.

And, Ryan, IMHO, giant trippy robots always rule as inspiration.

Kelly Swails said...

Mine usually start a lot like Tim's: an image or a scene pops into my head, and I have no idea what is going on but I'm fascinated enough to construct a story around it. Other times it's a character that grabs me, almost fully formed, and shakes me until I write his tale.

Anonymous said...

The inspiration for the novel I'm currently shopping was an abandoned house that sits about thirty yards behind my own.

Early one morning, I went out on to my covered back porch and saw the back door of said house standing wide open. That made me wonder if someone was hiding inside, which eventually led me to make that theoretical someone a vampire on the run.

Most of the time, though, it's my hour drive each way to and from work where most of my ideas are found. Keeps me from thinking how much I'm spending in gas.